Harry Caray was born Harry Christopher Carabina of French-Romanian and Italian parentage in one of the poorest sections of St. Louis. He was an infant when his father died; at ten, he was taken in by his aunt upon the death of his mother. As a young man, Caray played baseball at the semi-pro level for a short time before auditioning for a radio job at the age of 19. He then spent a few years learning the trade at radio stations in Joliet, Illinois and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Caray did play-by-play for the St. Louis Hawks professional basketball team (now the Atlanta Hawks), the University of Missouri football team and he announced three Cotton Bowl games.
It was in St. Louis, covering the Cardinals from 1945 to 1969, where Caray gained national fame. He was named “Baseball Announcer of the Year” for 7 years in a row by The Sporting News. Caray was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1989. After a quarter of a century in St. Louis, Caray moved to California to announce the Oakland A’s games on television and radio during the 1970 season. The following year, Caray came to Chicago to become the radio/television voice of the cross-town Chicago White Sox, a position he held until 1981. Harry Caray and his “tell-it-like-it-is” style of broadcasting had become as synonymous with Chicago baseball fans as the ivy that covers the center field wall at Wrigley Field.
The veteran play-by-play announcer was perhaps best recognized for his tradition of singing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” during the 7th inning stretch and for his famous exclamations: “It might be, it could be, it is! A home run!” and “Holy Cow!”
When asked his plans for retirement, Caray summed up his plans in one word: “Never.” He was the voice of the Chicago Cubs from 1982 until he passed away on February 18, 1998. His wife, Dutchie Caray, affectionately known as the “First Lady of Chicago Baseball” continues to be very involved in all of the HCRG restaurants.