The World Series starts tonight. The games will be telecast on FOX. While I have nothing personal against the announcing team of Tim McCarver and Joe Buck, it was Harry Carry who observed that some announcers are more interesting than others. Here’s a shout out to Harry.
Harry Caray’s autobiography titled “Holy Cow”, published in 1989, and written with Bob Verdi, is the subject of this review.
In opening we are treated to a first person account of Harry’s stroke (“cerebrovascular accident”) which occurred at a Palm Springs, CA, Country Club.
He discusses getting fired by Anheuser-Busch after broadcasting Cardinals games for 25 years.
The details of his life and career in St. Louis, Oakland, and Chicago are presented, with names and dates.
Here are a couple of my favorite excerpts:
– “Anyway, every time I went to the ballpark – whether the Cardinals won or lost, whether the game was well played or not – I felt that excitement, I experienced that thrill. But when I stayed home and listened to the radio broadcasts, what I heard was as dull and boring as the morning crop reports.”
– “That’s why I say there’s not a bad announcer in baseball. Some are just more interesting than others. To me, you can tell an uninteresting announcer – when he throws a million statistics at you. Who cares whether a player’s got 120 singles or 140 singles? Or who cares if he’s had two hits in his last twenty times at bat? I’d rather know that he’s never had a hit off a particular pitcher – something that is actually relevant to what’s happening on the field.”
This is a very easy reading book. Although it was published 20 years ago, it feels current because the writing is good. I have heard the rough outlines of some of the stories included here before, but now I have all the details.
I recommend this book highly to anyone with an interest in Major League baseball from the 1940s through the 1980s, or with an interest in Harry Caray: the man, the myth, the legend. Or, I might add, with any interest in major league baseball announcers.