Legend of Braves Baseball, Skip Caray Dead at 68
ATLANTA -- The Braves family lost one of its most beloved members on Sunday, when Skip Caray passed away at his Atlanta-area home.
Caray, who would have celebrated his 69th birthday on Aug. 12, went to take a nap Sunday afternoon and didn't awaken. He is survived by his wife, Paula, two sons, Chip and Josh, two daughters, Shayelyn and Cindy, and seven grandchildren.
The two sons will carry on the family's rich broadcasting tradition, which began with Skip's father, Harry Caray, a Hall of Fame announcer who remains one of the most popular figures in baseball history.
Josh currently calls games for the Braves' Class A affiliate in Rome, Ga., and Chip serves as both a Braves announcer and the play-by-play announcer for TBS' Major League Baseball coverage. Chip was broadcasting Sunday's game between the Angels and Yankees at Yankee Stadium when he heard the startling news about his father.
"I'm just in shock," Chip said. "I know he wasn't feeling good, but this was unexpected. He hung the moon for me. I got to talk to him [on Saturday], and the last thing I got to say to him was, 'I love you.'"
Caray, who began broadcasting Braves games in 1976, battled multiple ailments over the past year that he linked to diabetes. When he wasn't available to broadcast this past weekend's series against the Brewers, it was revealed that he was suffering from bronchitis.
On August 2 Caray said, "I'm 68," Caray said on April 2. "If I go tonight, I've had a hell of a life."
Braves Win Braves Win Braves Win. One of the greatest calls in baseball history, Skip Caray
From Radio 850 WGST Atlanta
I was in such a good mood when I came into work this morning; the Gator football team had started practice and that means that we can now really start talking about college football.
As I was preparing for my "Sportscene" show today, I came across news that I had to read twice to make sure I was digesting it properly.
i read the news that said long time Atlanta Braves sportscaster Skip Caray had died in his sleep on Sunday; he was 68 years old. Even though I knew he had been in failing health of late, his passing came as a shock.
For long time fans of the Atlanta Braves, this must truly be a sad day. When the Braves were on WTBS and on radio and they were losers, Caray was there with his sarcastic wit that spared no one. Yet, as bad as the Braves were, you knew in your heart he was pulling for the Braves to win just the same.
Moving to Atlanta to broadcast minor league baseball in the mid 1960's, Caray started out broadcasting Atlanta Hawks basketball games and was then made a member of the Braves broadcast team in 1976. In his 33rd season, because of ill health, he was forced this year to broadcast only on radio and only for Braves home games.
But over those years, the voice of Skip Caray was everything to baseball fans in the southeast. With Pete Van Wieren and Ernie Johnson, Caray brought Braves baseball to life in the southeast where for many years the Braves were the only team to root for in the area.
Perhaps it is hard now in this era of the broadcaster of the day to realize what Caray meant to Braves fans; he said he often thought of truck drivers while calling a game on radio, trying to keep them entertained as they were driving across the southeast. He did just that.
WSB 740 AM Atlanta carried the Braves as a Clear Channel station for years
Caray and Van Wieren began broadcasting Braves games with Ernie Johnson Sr. in 1976. Caray's sarcastic wit made him a popular lead voice of the broadcast team and his fame grew nationally as TBS carried Braves games to a national audience for 30 years.
After decades of calling the Braves America's Team, TBS this year began a seven-year contract of national weekly telecasts, leaving the Braves to the regional Peachtree TV network and leaving Caray to radio work on home games.