February 09, 2006

Take Me Out of This Broadcast Booth: Harry Caray was a "miserable human being," former Cardinals and Cubs partner Milo Hamilton writes in his new autobiography. "Harry's handling of people was poor, to say the least. It didn't matter if he was dealing with the starting pitcher, traveling secretary, the public relations person or an usher. He treated everyone the same way."

posted by rcade to baseball at 08:17 AM - 31 comments

I agree that Milo got the shaft on the Cubs gig, but ragging on the dead is sour grapes. Cubs fans still idolize Harry and if he could be canonized, he would, as silly as that might sound. Harry Caray, the patron saint for beer swilling fans everywhere. Poor Milo, stuck in Houston.

posted by Rantoulet at 08:29 AM on February 09

I keep imagining a belligerent Harry Caray walking around Chicago slapping valets and waiters and doormen with that ridiculous voice of his - only instead of "Holy Cow" he's spewing out non-stop abuse: "Sonofabitch, bastard, shithead". You know what's funny? Harry Caray calling someone a fucker. Then demanding he/she get out of his sight.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:52 AM on February 09

I had a buddy back in the St. Louis area who was a sports director for the local station that broadcast Cubs games. He idolized Caray, and on a junket to Wrigley one year, he finally got up the nerve to duck into the booth to say hello to the legend. He opens the door and says, "Err, Harry, my name's XXXX XXXX and I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your work over the years with the Cards and the Cubs." Harry turns around and says, "Hey! HEEYYY!!! Get the fuck outta here, I'm tryina do a balllgammmeee!"

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:58 AM on February 09

As a fan who enjoyed Harry while broadcasting for the White Sox (and, with reservations, for the Cubs), I don't really care what Milo Hamilton has to say. Hamilton has been bitter about the way he left Chicago for decades. On a personal note, I once ran into Harry Caray as I was entering his Chicago restaurant - he was standing in the foyer waiting for a ride. He greeted me with a big smile and shook my hand. Regardless of what Milo Hamilton thinks, Harry was a legendary broadcaster who contributed greatly to Chicago's baseball history. It's too bad he couldn't have been around to see Chicago's first World Series title in 88 years.

posted by ChiSox1977 at 09:13 AM on February 09

I grew up listening to Caray on WGN, but it sounds like it's a good thing I never knew him!

posted by Rino23 at 09:17 AM on February 09

Let's look at the two examples from our members....One interrupted the man while he was working, I would prolly have said get the fuck out as well, but, was he smiling when he said it? The second, a business man, at the entrance to his place of business shakes hands with a customer as said customer enters..... I love the anecdotes, but neither really gives us anything to go on. The only way I know Caray is from his broadcasts, and that is how I choose to remember him....

posted by elovrich at 09:22 AM on February 09

Sounds to the outside observer that Milo Hamilton wants to self-promote while demoting others. No matter what Milo has to say, you have to look at who wrote it. Biographies when written by one's self have little credibility. Otherwise someone else would have written them about you , for you. Milo isn't going to convince people that listened to Harry Caray that he was an ass, whether or not he actually was. But I would have paid to see what Simon Cowles would say about his (Harry's) singing ability.

posted by mrhockey at 09:33 AM on February 09

Funny, I'd pay to see Simon Cowell disemboweled on national TV. Elovrich, my example wasn't meant to denigrate Caray. My friend tells the story with a big smile on his face, and it was a highlight of his association with the Cubs. I also left out the part about the bottle of Jack Daniels.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:45 AM on February 09

I know nothing about Milo's motives, but this isn't new stuff. David Halberstram said as much in October 1964. At least that's where I think I read it, that Caray was a douche who sucked up the the owners and stepped on everyone else.

posted by yerfatma at 10:07 AM on February 09

My Gandmothers brother and his wife lived next door to Harry for several years in St. Louis. He always said he was the worst neighbor he ever had. Total jerk and was constantly griping and yelling about something. Said he was just an ass. Funny thing was he also said he'd rather hear Harry call a Cubs game than anyone else. So being an ass takes nothing away from how beloved he was as a broadcaster.

posted by scottypup at 10:21 AM on February 09

"And up in Milwaukee, it's the Orioles 2, Packers zero". Harry had some moments, for sure ! He was loved by fans all over, and I don't think Mr. Hamilton can make that claim....

posted by mjkredliner at 10:32 AM on February 09

Great post scottypup, you really hit the heart of the issue.

posted by Venicemenace at 10:46 AM on February 09

who gives a crap if he was an ass. he was cubs baseball when i was growing up. nothing was better than coming home from school and catching an afternoon cubs game on wgn. those were the days. i miss him now that i think about it. "it's a beautiful day for baseball", "aah, can't beat fun at the old ballpark", and my favorite "paaaaahped it up"

posted by erkno11 at 10:49 AM on February 09

I think I may have been the only Cubs fan in the world who absolutely HATED Harry Caray. I loved Steve Stone but just wanted Harry's drunk ass to either shut the fuck up or at least know who the hell was playing today.

posted by willthrill72 at 01:30 PM on February 09

I've heard dozens of stories about Harry's rude behavior, his arrogance and his temper, but they don't diminish his ability as a broadcaster. One of my first baseball memories is setting around the radio in the kitchen in 1964 and hearing Harry scream "THE CARDINALS WIN THE PENNANT....THE CARDINALS WIN THE PENNANT....THE CARDINALS WIN THE PENNANT!!!"

posted by Bury Bonds at 01:36 PM on February 09

I had no love for the cubs, but coming home from school and hearing Harry's voice was part of growing up for me. I miss it.

posted by justgary at 02:20 PM on February 09

Biographies when written by one's self have little credibility. Otherwise someone else would have written them about you , for you So the only person who isn't a credible source of information about Milo Hamilton is Milo Hamilton?

posted by rcade at 02:30 PM on February 09

I loved Steve Stone but just wanted Harry's drunk ass to either shut the fuck up or at least know who the hell was playing today. Or at least to stop calling Vance Law, "Vern Law."

posted by chris2sy at 02:43 PM on February 09

I too grew up listening to Harry Carey but he seldom broadcast the game that was actually being played that day. He was terrible and the nicest thing I can think to say about him was "He was an Ass!" Lucky for St. Louis we had a real broadcaster in Jack Buck. They were as different as Albert Belle and Stan Musial. Enough said.

posted by rchugh at 03:03 PM on February 09

Please do not pick on a dead man, no matter who he is. I always grew up watching Harry on WGN. However, Time Warner Cable has shut down WGN in the L.A. area for the last five years. I will not forgive them until I can see the Cubs again. Why did they keep TBS? Anyway, about having bad neighbors. My next door neighbor once whacked me in the head with a golf ball, causing plentiful dizziness. Another neighbor is a drug addict. One former neighbor tried to get me to convert. The people who replaced them just hate me, think I am a bad dude and full of evil. Harry Caray can't be that bad.

posted by Joe88 at 03:39 PM on February 09

Having been around professional sports for a time I came to realize that quite a few athletes, owners, broadcasters and others affiliated with the teams aren't the greatest people in the world. That said, who really cares? I agree with scottypup totally when he says Caray's peronal life takes nothing away from Caray as a good broadcaster. I mean, apply this to all the athletes. Does anybody truly care what Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez or any of the other superstars are like personally? I certainly don't. As long as they hit .300, smash 50 or so home runs and drive in 120 I'm happy. Same goes for Harry Caray. As long as I enjoyed his broadcasts he could have been the biggest horse's ass in the world. I just doesn't matter.

posted by donnnnychris at 04:24 PM on February 09

"Hey everybody. Harry Carey out here in the bleachers at beautiful Wrigley Field. Hey, look at that couple over there. He kisses her on the strikes and she kisses him on the balls." Who cares if Harry was a conniving jackass off the field. He was a great voice for baseball.

posted by 1651 Naismith at 04:55 PM on February 09

If someone writes a book about their life should they just leave out all the negative things about people that are dead now? I'd rather read how he really felt about Harry than some glossed over bullsh**. I personally thought Harry was a lousy announcer, he screwed up names and ''EVERTHING'' hit in the air by the Cubs was ''a DEEP fly ball''. If you watched the game on tv and listened to Harry on the radio, it was like 2 different games entirely. As to him personally, he was cheating with the bosses wife in St. Louis, not a good person in my book (if I write one) either.

posted by Steeler_Fan at 06:21 PM on February 09

as a security guard for the Giants@home plate Harry always had a smile&hello!sounds like sour grapes to me!

posted by mdavidsf at 08:15 PM on February 09

Leave Harry alone. RIP.

posted by zane71 at 09:15 PM on February 09

Who the f**k would want to buy, let alone read Milo's book anyway? I had the pleasure of meeting Harry at a restaurant opening called Ron Santos in a Chicago burb. I was seated with a friend along with my mother and her friend. Harry walked by the table, made an unsolicited stop, said hello to myself and my friend, then proceeded to innocently flirt with my mom and her friend. Who ya crappin Milo?

posted by panteeze at 10:02 PM on February 09

I personally thought Harry was a lousy announcer, he screwed up names and ''EVERTHING'' hit in the air by the Cubs was ''a DEEP fly ball''. Steelef Fan, this is what made him so likable to me. He acted more like a fan doing the play by play. As a fan of sports, have you always pronounced a players name correctly? I sure haven't. Tim Biakabatuka comes to mind, lol. And how many announcers ever dared to attempt to pronounce a name backwards? Harry had a way of making the game more enjoyable, especially when the Cub's were getting their behinds whooped.

posted by panteeze at 10:10 PM on February 09

Please do not pick on a dead man, no matter who he is. Right. I'm not going to Gowdin the thread, but please do not speak in absolutes like that.

posted by yerfatma at 07:09 AM on February 10

Please do not pick on a dead man, no matter who he is. Boy, that Vlad Tepes, now that he's dead, he's just all right in my book. Did I Gowdin the thread?

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:01 PM on February 10

As a fan of sports, have you always pronounced a players name correctly? I sure haven't. Tim Biakabatuka comes to mind, lol. ezeetnap (panteeze), I wasn't talking about names that are hard to pronounce (I have no trouble with 'bee-ok-a-ba-too-ka' by the way, but I'm not drunk all the time either as Harry was) I was refering to names like Ford, as in when he constantly called the Cardinals Curt Ford, Curt Flood (they only played 2 decades apart lol) and many more examples that I'm not gonna waste my time or yours with. by the way, My 10 year old son suggested turning your name around backwards, I thought you would get a kick out of it. :o)

posted by Steeler_Fan at 06:48 PM on February 10

In 1992, I met Milo at a baseball dinner here in Houston and was able to talk to him for a long time. He did not talk highly of Harry Carey then either. I will also add that Milo was extremely nice to me. As for Harry Carey, he did get very annoying to me, especially when he would start bellowing like a stuck cow every time a Cubs' hitter hit a fly ball of any depth thinking it was going to leave the yard. However, he could be very entertaining to listen to and it is easy to see why he was an icon up in Chi-Town

posted by Mitch0129 at 12:08 AM on February 14

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