Monday, August 4, 2008

R.I.P, Skip Caray

I know this is a departure from the normal Nascar stuff, but I read today with great sadness that longtime announcer for the Atlanta Braves, Skip Carey died in his sleep yesterday at age 68.

Since I was a child, I've loved to listen to baseball games on the radio. Baseball does, or at least used to have the perfect pace for radio. Skip Caray was always one of those announcers that made you feel like you were at the park, watching the game.

Skip certainly had the pedigree for being a great baseball announcer. His father, Harry, was one of the most famous baseball announcers of all time, having served as the voice of the Chicago Cubs for many years. I used to listen to Harry when I was a kid, and that's probably why I proudly wear, among others, a Cubs hat to this day.

Skip is survived by his wife and 4 children, two of whom are also professional broadcasters. Son Chip is an announcer for the Braves for TBS. Son Josh calls games for the Class A Rome Braves.

I will always remember Skip Caray's humor and his ability to make even a boring game interesting. Many times, I think we as sports fans just never appreciate the people who bring us the events until they are gone. Fans of the great Jack Buck probably know what I'm talking about. I'm still a huge fan of his son Joe though. Growing up in the Upstate area of South Carolina, I listened to long time announcer Jim Phillips call the Clemson football games on the radio. I had the pleasure of meeting Jim several years ago, when I was doing some work on the campus at Clemson University. Jim didn't know me from Adam, but he was very gracious and chatted with me for a few minutes. When he died suddenly a few years ago, I was very saddened, because for me, listening to a football game on the radio would never be the same again.

I feel much the same way about the Braves games now. I'll still watch and listen, and Pete Van Wieren and Joe Simpson have always done a great job. But it's just never going to be quite the same without Skip.

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