As this season quickly approaches, I am reminded of the year that Harry Caray died. I was going to school downtown at the time and my dorm room was not more than 4 blocks from the massive cathedral where his funereal took place. Growing up watching the Cubs, Steve Stone and Harry Caray were all I ever knew. I never had the priviledge of watching the greats that came before. In fact, I remember my first Cubs game as a kid at Wrigley Field. I went with a church group in 1987, the year Harry had a stroke and was out for a while. I remember how disappointed I was when he wasn’t there to lead us in take me out to the ball game. I felt as if my heart had been broken. When I heard the news on February 18th, 1998 I was very sad. As bad as Harry’s announcing had gotten over the years, he still lived and died with Cubs baseball. That’s what made him great, and that’s why we loved him.

Not too long ago I read a book that really in my mind told the story of Harry the way it was meant to be told. The book is by Steve Stove, his long time partner and friend. In the book, he paints the picture of Harry the way he remembered him. The book allows the casual fan the opportunity to spend some time in places where they normally wouldn’t be able to, like the booth, restaurants, etc. Steve tells it how it was. I spent hours reading the book and literally laughing hysterically outloud at all the crazy things Harry did. If you call yourself a Cub fan, then you need to read about one of the biggest ever.

I am also including some clips of Harry Caray announcing. I highly Recommend you listen to them all. It’s well worth your time.

It’s a beautiful Day for Baseball

Flyball in a phonebooth

Take me out to the first night game

He Loved People and they knew it

The man had a heart of gold. I miss you Harry. Cub’s baseball just isn’t the same without you.

Harry Caray

1914 – 1998

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail