Sunday, August 3, 2008

Skip Caray, 1939-2008

Harry Christopher Caray Jr., best known for broadcasting untold numbers of Atlanta Braves games during their awful Rick Mahler years on cable-TV pioneer WTBS from Atlanta, dead at the age of 68. Most unlike his father, the gregarious, back-slapping Harry Christopher Caray Sr., Skip was very dry-witted and laconic. A single at-bat from Kevin Bass could lead to an entire inning full of fishing puns: "Bass casts a grounder out toward short, and Ramirez reels it in...."

In 1979, Skip famously informed the audience sitting through another dreary Braves loss: "You have our permission to turn off the TV and go to bed now ... as long as you promise to patronize our sponsors."

Skip Caray described Braves games from 1976 to 2007, when WTBS, inexplicably to this reporter, decided to pull the Braves' telecasts off the superstation for good. Isn't there a tremendous need for more programming now? Does anyone really want to watch one more rerun of "Everybody Loves Raymond"? Maybe they just knew that Skip's run was at an end.

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