Harry Christopher "Skip" Caray, Jr. was a television and radio sports broadcaster. He was best best known as the voice of the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball and for being the son of broadcasting legend Harry Caray. He is also the father of Chip Caray, also a Braves broadcaster, and Josh Caray, a broadcaster for the Rome High School baseball and football teams.
As the son of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray, Skip grew up surrounded by baseball. He studied journalism at the University of Missouri and began his career in St. Louis shortly thereafter. His first job was calling games for the St. Louis Hawks basketball team. When the Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968, Caray followed. When he arrived he began calling games for the Atlanta Flames hockey team as well.
Caray began his long career with the Atlanta Braves in 1976. He would go on to hold this position until his death in 2008. After his long run with the Braves, Caray was dealt an unusual blow when he was not asked to announce the League Division Series games on TBS. Instead, Caray was left as the exclusive Brave's commentator on the local Atlanta network Peachtree TV.
In 2004, Caray was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame alongside fellow Braves broadcaster Pete Van Weiren. He won numerous awards during his tenure with the Braves including six Georgia Sportscater-of-the-Year awards from the National Sportwriters and Sportscasters Association ans well as a Georgia-area Emmy.
On December 10, 2006, Caray and Van Weiren signed 3-year contracts to continue doing Braves broadcasts on their radio network. However, Caray had only announced ten games on TBS during the 2007 season when he was relegated again to the local Peachtree TV network.
NBC hired Caray in 2000 to do play-by-play with Joe Morgan during the Division Series between the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics. Caray was filling in for Bob Castas who was sitting out the series after anchoring NBC's prime time coverage of the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Like his father before him, Skip Caray was not immune to criticism. In June of 2000, Caray and fellow broadcasters Joe Simpson, Pete Van Wieren and Don Sutton were banned from Atlanta Braves team flights for several games after they criticized Braves catcher Javy López for being penalized for setting up outside the catchers box during a game again the Milwaukee Brewers.
Caray was also criticized for his shameless home team attitude during his broadcasts. Known in the baseball world as a "homer", Caray and Van Wieren were removed during the 2003 season from TBS television broadcasting. Although the move was made in an attempt to combat criticism, it instead ignited the fans, the local media and even Braves manager Bobby Cox. A poll by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed that 90% of Braves fans preferred Caray and Van Wieren over the now neutral broadcasters who took their place. TBS saw a sharp decline in ratings. After the All-Star Break, Caray and Van Wieren returned to their positions only to be removed again, this time permanently, in 2007 when TBS hired new broadcasters for their playoff coverage. Skip's sone Chip is the only full-time broadcaster at TBS.
On August 3, 2008, Paula Caray, wife of Skip, believed her husband was napping. When she looked out the window she saw a bird feeder had fallen from where it had been hanging. Thinking it had been blown down by the wind, she went outside to put it back up. It was then that she noticed her husband lying on the ground next to the feeder. His health had been poor for nearly a year, but Caray remained at work for the 2008 season. He had called a game as recently as 3 days before. Later that afternoon, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced Caray's death.
As the Cubs did with Harry Caray, the Braves players wore memorial patches on their uniforms that read "Skip".
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