New Book Reveals Little Known Facts About Harry Caray

May 16, 2019

Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson spoke with author Don Zminda about his book, "The Legendary Harry Carey: Baseball's Greatest Salesman."
Credit Courtesy of Don Zminda

CHICAGO - There is now a book out about Sports Broadcaster Harry Caray that goes beyond his Cubs years.  "The Legendary Harry Caray: Baseball’s Greatest Salesman," was written by Don Zminda.  

Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host/Reporter Sharon Jackson spoke with Zminda on the story about things that weren't widely known about the legendary broadcaster.

Some Facts About Harry from the book:

Caray, the man who made “Holy Cow!” his signature phrase, was deathly afraid of cows.

Caray, whose raucous renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” made many music purists cringe, was a member of the glee club at Webster Groves High School in St. Louis.

On-key or not, Caray’s renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” always found a rabid audience. One example: when the Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago in 1996, Caray was asked to lead the convention delegates in a chorus of his signature song.

In his early days broadcasting for the Cardinals, an era in which teams usually broadcast road games from the hometown radio studio via a telegraph hook-up from the road ballpark, Caray—using recorded crowd noises, bat sounds, etc.—became such a master of these re-creations that many fans assumed that he was actually working from the park.

In St. Louis, Harry’s work drew such passionate response that the FBI once needed to be called because a fan had threatened to come to the park and throw a tear-gas bomb at Caray.

St. Louis Cardinals owner Gussie Busch once offered Caray the job as general manager of the team. Harry turned it down.

As a White Sox broadcaster. Caray had such a devoted fan base that when it was announced that he was switching to the Cubs in 1982, a Chicago Tribune poll of more than 2,500 fans found that a stunning 44 percent of the respondents who labelled themselves Sox fans said that they would now be rooting for the Cubs.