Braves tip their caps to the late Skip Caray
Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 7:15 pm
By: By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Late Atlanta Braves broadcaster Skip Caray might have had something funny and sarcastic to say about Gov. Sonny Perdue and others who lined up to remember him Tuesday. But Caray probably would have had something nice to say about the fans who came to listen.
“He was one incredible voice,” Perdue said at a public tribute that drew about 1,000 people to Turner Field.
“Just like Skip, we were fans of the team in the lean years in the ’70s and the ’80s,” Perdue said. “We tuned in to listen to the funny one-liners.”
Caray, who died at his home on Aug. 3, would have celebrated his 69th birthday on Tuesday, one day shy of the four-year anniversary of his induction into the Braves Hall of Fame.
Braves chairman Terry McGuirk, pitcher John Smoltz, Caray’s longtime broadcast partners Pete Van Wieren and Joe Simpson and his son, Chip Caray, also spoke at the memorial.
“As CEO of the Braves, I declare today a public celebration throughout Braves nation in honor of Skip Caray,” McGuirk said, adding “the commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, joins me in that proclamation.”
Van Wieren and Caray shared the Braves broadcast booth for 33 years as TBS televised the games to a national viewing audience.
“By my count that’s nearly 5,000 games that we did together, and it never got old,” Van Wieren said. “It was a new adventure every day.”
Smoltz laughed when remembering Caray’s description of Ryan Klesko, a natural first baseman, trying to learn how to play left field.
Smoltz said Caray joked, “’Ryan Klesko is running the right routes, we just can’t get the ball to him.”’
Chip Caray and another son, Josh, are continuing the family’s line of baseball broadcasters which began with Skip’s famous father, Harry Caray.
“As much as he enjoyed saying ‘Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!’ he loved nothing more than saying ‘Listen to this crowd,’” Chip Caray said. “You all were the bass notes to the soundtrack of my father’s life.”
The Braves also planned to honor Caray before Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, but the game was postponed.