104 thoughts on “Damn”

  1. Wow! He was truly a great one. You could tell he was struggling this year, but he sounded better to me recently. I remember first hearing him in the late 70’s on WTCG and thinking that he was the funniest and best announcer I’d ever heard. He will really be missed!

  2. Oh, gosh. How truly awful.

    Skip could take a nothing game and make it all worthwhile.

    The best 1-2 combo in Braves broadcasting was Skip Caray and Ernie Johnson.

  3. So sad. I always enjoyed listening or watching him. Wish he could have enjoyed a better final season.

  4. Wow. Wow. Man, that’s really sad. He was easily my favorite announcer. I was listening to a game on the radio the other day and thought to myself, “Even though we’re bad, he can make any game enjoyable.”

    “There’s a drive, deep right-center field. Nixon goes as far as he can go…”

  5. he was great and will be missed, RIP

    anyone see this….per mlb rumors

    Mark Teixeira wants a 10 year deal and that might limit his options to one city: New York. Only Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have 10 year deals. The Yankees and Mets may be the only players willing to go that high. Teixeira’s turned down a lot of money before, and indicated he wants to play for a place he likes and a team that contends every year.

    see ya, have fun elsewhere

  6. So many of my fondest memories are with Skip’s voice in them! Of anyone in the Braves organization over the 38 years I’ve been a fan I would pick Skip to have a conversation with! Thanks for your wit, humor, candid comments and love of baseball. My world is a little bleaker today!

  7. I remember a game about a month or so ago. Skip sounded pretty bad at that game, and I knew then we didn’t have much time left with him. I was listening to the game this afternoon with two of my sons and every time one of his commercials came on, we would all repeat the opening line “Skip Caray Here for….”

    I think they should put the rules of how the infield fly rule works on his tombstone.

  8. Last week:

    Pete: “When you get to this part of the season, it’s fun to see keep an eye on the standings, figure out where the teams are with each day.”

    Skip: “It was more fun a few years ago.”

    Last week!

    It sounds as if he had as peaceful a death as you could wish for.

  9. Can’t beat this call…

    “A lotta room in right-center, if he hits one there we can dance in the streets. The 2-1. Swung, line drive left field! One run is in! Here comes Bream! Here’s the throw to the plate! He is…safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!…Braves win! They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream; he’s down at the bottom of a huge pile at the plate. They help him to his feet. Frank Cabrera got the game winner! The Atlanta Braves are National League champions again! This crowd is going berserk, listen!”

  10. About a month ago the Braves were having a horrible game. Skip’s comment was:
    “The bases are loaded again, they’ve been loaded all day – I wish I was.”

    He brought that kind of humor consistently.

    Btw, Soriano was disabled today. His replacement is really puzzling.

    “They recalled left-hander Francisley Bueno from AAA Richmond, where he was 2-5 with a 5.02 ERA in 17 games, including 12 starts.”

  11. I like the idea of what should go on Skip tombstone.

    I like:

    “The bases are loaded and I wish I was.”

  12. Really sad day. I’m just happy Skip’s last day on Earth was a Braves win – that’s the way it should be.

    But what has been a depressing, injury prone season, has just hit rock bottom.

    I guess it just makes me happy that I was able to meet one of my childhood idols/heroes on a few occassions. He was always very nice and had stories the times I talked to him.

    Rest in Peace, Skip.

  13. When you heard his voice you just knew summer had come and baseball was in full swing. He will definitely be missed.

  14. He had a good one a few days ago as well..something about the attendance being 40.000 fans at the game but 20.000 of them dressed as empty seats.

    Ah man… R.I.P. Skip

  15. What a depressing, depressing season and this team in general has become depressing.

    – The division run is over and we’ll miss the play-offs for the 3rd straight year!

    – Not only will we miss the play-offs, but we are in rebuilding mode! We were used to acquiring a guy like Teixeira at the break, not shipping him off for a league average guy and a live arm.

    – No more Braves on TBS…but the Braves on Peachtree TV

    – Skip Caray has passed on…Don Sutton is doing National games

    – JS is not the GM anymore

    – Greg Maddux is a Padre

    – Andruw Jones is a Dodger and has been relegated to defensive replacement

    – Smoltz might never pitch again

    – Glavine returned from 5 season in New York (ugh)..and basically showed his age

    – Hampton is Hampton

    – Hudson is going to have Tommy John

    – Chipper is getting older..and (still) brittle

    – Francoeur, the next face of the franchise has hit a wall like which we have never, ever seen

    Ok, I’ll stop now. This is too damn depressing

  16. This is horrible. Skip was one of my favorites. He was one of the reasons I got hooked on the Braves as a kid as I loved listening to him call games. I’ll miss him for sure.

  17. Unfortunately I hadn’t heard Skip nearly as much as I would have liked the last couple of years. He’ll certainly be missed.

    What else is going to go wrong this year?

  18. Chipper’s going to pass through waivers and get dealt to the Yankees… to play left field.

  19. This has just been one terrible year for the Braves, and I thought the last two years were bad.

    Rest in peace Skip. You are the best.

  20. I got MLB audio this season specifically so I could listen to Skip. I’m so glad I made that decision, but now I wish I had listened to more games than I did. Earlier this season Skip and Pete did a game together in which the Braves won late, and I remember listening and thinking, “Skip and Pete calling the game, the Braves winning…I love baseball.”

    I’ll definitely miss him. His humor, especially when we were losing, we wonderful. His sign-off on the last game TBS broadcast last season was perfect. He knew what to say when. To make a huge understatement, he will be missed.

  21. That is terrible news about Skip Caray. I am going to the Braves game in San Francisco Wednesday. Maybe the Bravos can sweep the Giants in his honor. RIP Skip.

  22. I took up the first season of My Boys, so I’ve been working on that. You guys like this show? The baseball under-currents are entertaining.

  23. Oh, and the chick’s pretty hot. Why can’t I find a girl that likes sports this much and looks like that?

    They don’t exist.

  24. Sad news. :-(

    After hearing the news that his health was poor at the start of the season, I started to realize how lucky I’d been to get to listen to him for as much as have. He was definitely one of the greats.

    Among other things, he was a clear link to the past. When the season’s over, someone should write a nice, long retrospective on the Braves from 1991 through 2005. Maybe include 2006-08, I dunno. But it seems like that run of greatness has come to an end. All that’s left is for Cox to leave and Smoltz to officially retire, and the Braves are just one of 30 again.

  25. Our Braves will never be the same. It’s a new era, and so far the era sucks.

    My favorite Skip quote, from one of the awful years in the 80s:

    Welcome to Fulton County Stadium, where it’s always the bottom of the fifth and I’m leading the league in doubles.

    Damn. RIP Skip.

  26. @35—It’s hard being a girl who likes sports, which could explain why there aren’t very many good looking girls who do (it’s hard enough being an ordinary looking girl who does!) When a girl starts talking sports to another girl, she loses her audience when statistics come up. “You sound like a guy” is the typical response, and the conversation ends there. When a girl starts talking sports to a guy, the conversation rarely even gets to statistics, because the guy usually thinks it’s cute she’s trying to talk about sports, but he assumes she really doesn’t know what she’s really talking about. So that conversation doesn’t typically lead to an outlet to talk sports, either. So if following sports usually gets you nowhere, why would most really good looking girls want to?

  27. In a weird way, the drollery and smart-assed tone that pervades this forum is a part of Skip’s legacy. It’s obvious many of us who stroll by this space are influenced by Skip’s take on the sport and his team, even if we may not admit it. I know that my understanding and perspective on the sport were shaped by hearing and viewing the Braves through Skip’s words.

    My fiancee’ gave me an XM satellite radio for my birthday last year, when I still lived in a faraway time zone before returning to the South this summer. I doubt I can ever tell her how wonderful that gift was since I was able to listen to Skip’s home-game calls for one more season.

    Rest in peace, Skip … when you came to the South, we were nothing as a pro sports region … you pass on leaving Atlanta as one of the few cities where baseball is the most important and most influential professional sport, along with St. Louis, Chicago, Boston and New York … that is in part due to you and bringing all of us closer to the team we love.

    Even when we are critical here, even when we hate the way things are going, the way a player is recklessly swinging his bat, the way a particular year’s team just can’t come together … we nonetheless love the Atlanta Braves — passionately and almost to a fault. Just like you did.

    As your father said so many times, “Good night, Skip.” And thank you.

  28. Skip used to talk about how amazing it was on day games to see so many businessmen at the game with their beautiful teenage and above daughters – for some reason they didn’t want to be on camera. I have to admit that when I was younger I thought Pete was just too boring for me (I’ve seen the light since then), but I always looked forward to hearing Skip and the banter between him, Ernie and Pete.

  29. Guess this is really rock-bottom for the ’08 Braves season.

    So many memories of Skip, first as a Hawks announcer (calling Pete Maravich games) then joining the Braves. I can remember so many times as a 12-year-old playing APBA with a friend, the Braves game on WTCG & Skip saying something that stopped us in our tracks & had us laughing. I’d write down some of his quotes on my old APBA notebooks—wish I still had ’em.

    My fave was always: “This game’s about as much fun as writing an alimony check.”

    It’s so true that he made those awful, awful Braves teams worth watching. He was funny, sure, but he was honest, a key trait that so many announcers just gloss over.

    When the Braves finally won the World Series, it felt like all of us fans and anyone close to the organization (announcers, etc.) had finally come out of the wilderness. Before The Great Run, Skip sure called a lot of bad baseball. Very happy that the ’95 WS, ’92 NLCS, the Nixon catch, etc., are all part of Skip’s legacy.

    Thanks for the memories, Skip. I’m gonna tip a brew in your honor & maybe wipe a tear. Anyone who grew up listening to you knows what I mean. We’ll sure miss you.

  30. The last game Skip called, the Braves played the Cardinals. Somehow that seems appropriate.

    Rest in peace, Skip.

  31. This has just been a bad year in general for media people I admire. Tim Russert, George Carlin, Skip.
    I think mraver has it right – this is truly the end of an era. You’ll be missed, Skip.

  32. OK guys, I might be going crazy. I’m on the way home from work, it’s late, I’m listening to some mellow country song. Ya know, just cruising at 1 in the morning. I turn over to XM and see what’s going down on ESPN Radio. They got SportsCenter going, and I can hear this play-by-play of someone who kinda, sorta sounds like Skip Caray. “Runner on second” or something. I’m thinking to myself, “Nuh uh. No way.” And then I hear, “A lot of room in right-center. If he hits one there we can dance in the street.” Yes! Dude, I go nuts. I’m in my car just yelling the play-by-play right there with him. “One run is in!” has me pumping my fist on my steering wheel. If someone was in the car with me, they would have thought I was legitimately bonkers going 0-60 with some random country song to yelling, “They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream!”

    Wow, I’m gonna miss Skip Caray. I was in the car the other day with a friend. I sushed her (seriously!) when Skip was giving a HR call on a Kelly Johnson bomb. She did not like getting sushed, but it was a Skip HR call! I even hit record since my XM will go backwards a couple minutes and got the whole thing saved. I still have it saved on my player. It’ll get a listen on the way to work tomorrow.

    Man, what a guy. And man, I have issues. Braves fandom, I guess.

  33. Truly awful news….

    Skip really was a giant: I believe that he will be remembered as one of the best announcers of the last quarter of the 20th century. He brought wit, insight, perspective, knowledge of the game and, on occasion a bit of sentiment to the game.

    Growing up in the 1970s, I came to admire Skip Caray because his broadcasts made a pathetic team fun to watch. He told it like it was: he never insulted the intelligence of the fans. I think he also taught us that the season was much more than what happened on the field (which was a welcome lesson to Braves’ fans in the 1970s); following the Braves also meant watching the life stories which surround the team.

    In that sense I like and agree with Brick Tamland’s comment #40 that the voices which help to define Braves Journal display a Carayian influence.

    He was also friendly: my brother and I once bumped into him at Shea and he spent some time with us talking about the Braves (and Hawks) .

    His loss completes the removal of the Braves from TBS and fits this utterly humilating season.

    Despite all that has happend this yeat, losing Skip Caray is what is going to make me ache the most.

    RIP Skip Caray

  34. The guy over at Rowland’s Office has an audio clip of the call.

    http://rowlandsoffice.typepad.com/

    I really think it’s fitting that Skip’s last season was another bad one. One last time to bring out the caustic wit and put that tinge of disgust back into his voice.

    I’ll miss him. He WAS Braves baseball to me.

  35. I feel like I’ve lost a piece of my childhood. Skip and Pete were definitely the voices of my childhood as a sports fan. After the 1991 season, I was hooked, and every time I watched the Braves, it was either Skip or Pete describing it. It’s so weird to think that I will never again hear Skip call another game. I was just listening to him last week. My condolences to his family, and may he rest in peace.

    The last nine days have been, by far, the most depressing period I have ever had to endure as a sports fan, and I’ve been a fan of some really horrible teams. After last weekend and Hudson getting DLed earlier this week along with Tex getting traded, I was just starting to get used to the fact that this is the way things are gonna be this year. McCann is coming back tomorrow, Chipper at the end of the week. Things seemed to be looking up, or at least stabilizing, relatively speaking. And now this happens. What a horrible, horrible week.

  36. Damn is right. I just logged on now and got the news. I basically learned the game from Skip & Pete. I always remember being upset as a kid during the playoffs because I had to settle for the network announcers. So many, many memories to list. I remember when Skip did the playoffs that one year on NBC’s bizarre Baseball Network or whatever it was called and it was weird to hear him announce a non-Braves game. I along with many others on here let TBS know how terrible it was when they tried to take Skip & Pete off the air. My cable has not been hooked up in my new apartment yet, so I have been listening exclusively to XM the last couple weeks, and now I’m really glad that I did.

    This season just got a lot more depressing and less fun, that’s for sure. Best wishes to Josh & Skip and the entire family. You will be missed greatly Skip. RIP.

  37. “I feel like Ive lost a piece of my childhood.”

    Nick, that’s exactly how I am feeling. Thanks for putting it into words.

  38. I heard the following exchange between Skip and Pete during Thursday’s game, which I guess was his last:

    Skip: I’m gonna shock you here, Pete. I’m going to say something nice about the Georgia state government.

    Pete: Uh oh.

    Skip had gotten his driver’s licence renewed earlier that day (at that awful looking trailer down by Turner field), and apparently it was a very pleasant, hassle-free experience. Everyone was real nice, he said. He then added:

    “You know, if you’re a younger fella, they give you a choice: If you want, you can pay a slightly higher fee and not have to renew your licence for a full ten years. But when you’re my age, they don’t give you that option for some reason.”

  39. It’s obvious many of us who stroll by this space are influenced by Skip’s take on the sport and his team, even if we may not admit it. I know that my understanding and perspective on the sport were shaped by hearing and viewing the Braves through Skip’s words.

    As far as I’m concerned, this is the greatest statement on this blog all year. Thank you for putting into words what I felt but never coud articulate. And thank you, Skip, for being my baseball mentor for all those years. Rest in peace.

  40. Terry’s song, by Bruce Springsteen:

    Well they built the Titanic to be one of a kind, but many ships have ruled the seas
    They built the Eiffel Tower to stand alone, but they could build another if they please
    Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Egypt, are unique I suppose
    But when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

    Now the world is filled with many wonders under the passing sun
    And sometimes something comes along and you know it’s for sure the only one
    The Mona Lisa, the David, the Sistine Chapel, Jesus, Mary, and Joe
    And when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

    When they built you, brother, they turned dust into gold
    When they built you, brother, they broke the mold

    They say you can’t take it with you, but I think that they’re wrong
    ‘Cause all I know is I woke up this morning, and something big was gone
    Gone into that dark ether where you’re still young and hard and cold
    Just like when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

    Now your death is upon us and we’ll return your ashes to the earth
    And I know you’ll take comfort in knowing you’ve been roundly blessed and cursed
    But love is a power greater than death, just like the songs and stories told
    And when they built you, brother, they broke the mold

  41. I can’t remember the exact words, but after the Braves won the World Series, Skip said something to the effect of “Raise a cocktail to these guys–whether fruit or the other kinds.” That seems appropriate today with respect to Skip.

    I have an audio tape of Game 6 of the 1995 World Series and it’s hard listening to Skip then compared to the last few years. I really appreciated the fact that, when the Braves were bad, he didn’t sugar coat unlike a lot of announcers, including the one here in Washington.

    For the first time in my life, I’m ready for baseball season to end.

  42. RIP, Skip. I’ll always be a bit bitter that the TBS chose to air sitcoms instead of the Braves, preventing me from listening to Skip and Pete. The barrage of sitcoms have never been as funny as a caustic one-liner from Skip.

  43. Here’s a full article up this morning on the AJC with reactions from Bobby, Smoltzie, Glavine, Pete, Chipper, etc.

    http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/braves/stories/2008/08/03/reaction_skip_caray_dies.html

    Chipper’s quote at the end of the story is pretty similar to the sentiment I posted late last night at #18:

    “You sit back and as a Brave, and anybody affiliated with the Braves, you wonder what else could happen to this team this year,” Jones said. “It’s been one blow after another.”

    You know the ironic part about this? With SO MANY Braves on the Disabled List – including Glavine, Chipper and Smoltz, 3 guys who’ve now known Skip 15 years – they’ll actually be able to attend his funeral. Sad, but it will give me some comfort at the thought of knowing all those guys can pay tribute (if they are able) to Skip back in Atlanta.

    It also gave me a heavy heart this morning to think that my little guy, Jake, will never have the chance to hear Skip call a Braves game. Skip will always be a central figure in my childhood memories, growing up in Savannah, and watching him on TBS or listening to him on the radio.

  44. it’ll never be the same, your voice was a part of my life for over 25 years and made me feel at home, no matter what dive across the country i was sitting in.
    R.I.P. Skip.

  45. I can only be sad for moments, as memories of Skip’s commments always bring a quick smile.
    He carved out his own niche in the game and the broadcasting business when he could’ve remained a legend’s son

    He knew how to get out of the way of the action. When the game dragged, he entertained. I’d been stuck listening to Marty Brenneman most of my life. The TBS broadcasts were such a breath of fresh air.

    Because of Marty, I never put much stock in HOF recognition for a broadcaster. Today, I know different. Let the drums start beating.

    Skip-HOF-NOW!

  46. summer nights,back in the 70’s, living out in the country before they ran cable to every inch of the earth,
    Skips voice comming in over the scratchy AM radio…….my late, great friend Roy(who tended to watch the radio like it was a tv) and I, rooting for truly horrible Braves teams and the announcer making it all seem worthwhile. at least one pure gem per night……whether it was a shaded allusion to his daily hangover, sarcasm about the 647 fans in the launching pad, or the utter futility of the team, he never failed to entertain me…………so long Skip. thanks for the memories.

  47. Skip Caray – Rest in Peace.

    Like almost everyone here my age or greater I became a Braves fan because of Skip, Ernie and Pete. It sure wasn’t the quality of the baseball. Back when I started following the Braves with the vast expanse of empty seats, the occasional echoing cheer from 4000 people, the incessent ticking of the news type machine in the background Skip was the reason to keep watching. The sophisticated, sharp sense of humor got me started in this 2 decade addiction that I have called Atlanta Braves fan.

    Skip, Thanks for many great memories and my sincere condolences to the Caray family.

  48. Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves Win!

    I will never, ever forget that. Thanks Skip and RIP.

  49. A pop up into the stands … and a fan from Suwanee makes a fine play.

    He always let us remember that it was a game, it was supposed to be fun. Thanks Skip, for bringing me uncountable hours of enjoyment.

  50. I’m really sad.

    In my opinion, it’s sort of a disservice to Skip to add this to a list of things gone wrong for the Braves this season. This is personal—not just for the Caray family, although it certainly is, but also for me—and so I’m not going to put it in the same category or list as a bad won-loss record or Tommy John surgery for our ace.

    Not meaning to call anyone out. Really, I’m just trying to put the overriding sadness I’m feeling into words.

    ububba,
    That Bradley column is great. Thanks.

  51. Let’s ban the wave at Turner Field, as a tribute to Skip. Not a formal rule, though: Skip wouldn’t like that. The next time you some jackass with his hat turned around backwards, his shirt off, and screaming from below, “come on, stand up!” feel free to say, “Sit down, bozo. For Skip’s sake.”

  52. Tim Russert. Tony Snow. Bobby Mercer. And now one of the best of all-time…Skip Caray. What a depressing way to start your day.

    I remember a couple years ago when I saw Skip at RFK in DC, he was moving like a 80 y/o man, but I thought nothing of it…now I understand how ill he was. RIP Skip…and this season w/o any doubt is a complete disaster.

  53. After years of listening to Skip, it’s pretty difficult to hear Bob Carpenter exulting every time a Nats’ pitcher throws a strike. I’m sure it’s hard for Don Sutton too.

  54. Stu,

    I mentioned this to you when we spoke earlier but I don’t think its necessarily about “what more could go wrong with the Braves this season” but more about the team. When you think about the team as a collection of people that basically comprise a family, you know that the team has gone through a lot lately. Tommy John to a baseball team’s ace isn’t the same thing as Tommy John surgery to 40 year old John Smoltz who has been a part of the Braves family for literally as long as it has been like a family and may never play again. Everyone involved no doubt felt bad for Smoltz in a way that they don’t feel bad for Hudson gonig through the same thing. Its different because its Smoltz and what he means to everyone.

    The same thing is true for Skip, only magnified a million times. He was the voice of the team, the personification of the Braves that people could relate to and enjoy interacting with. Hopefully people are not lamenting yet another thing going wrong with the Braves’ season, but rather are in disbelief that so many bad things and so much bad news has befallen the team lately.

    Skip seems like he had a fatherly role within the Braves’ family, he’s been around as long as anyone and it won’t be the same without him.

  55. It is a very difficult balance between being a “serious” announcer and injecting humor into the game. Skip did a great job in keeping that balance. Others like Chris Berman and Dennis Miller (and to a lesser extent, Bob Uecker) came off as clowns and have been annoying when they lost that balance (often). I agree that Skip should be in the HOF as soon as possible.

  56. McCann is starting tonight…I dont know if Im happy about this or not. Sammons has done good so far, give McCann another week. What will it hurt

  57. “Traffic report: 285—bad; 85—bad; 75—bad.”

    “Bob Horner has deceptive speed—he’s slower than he looks.”

    “Andres Thomas has an interesting strike zone—he’ll swing at anything between the on-deck circles.”

  58. Watching that Nixon catch on the wall, the thing that strikes me is how pumped up Justice was. I don’t remember seeing the Braves’ players having that much fun in a long time.

  59. This from DOB last night hits on something I’ve been thinking about, too:

    My heart goes out to Chip and the entire Caray family. And to Pete and Joe, because I know they’re devastated. They loved him. We all did.

    It’s odd, but I find myself feeling almost as much sympathy for Pete as I do for Chip right now.

  60. I really like JC’s idea of banning the wave in honor of Skip. Not to make it a formal rule, but hopefully enough people would know about the informal rule that, while there would be some people who would still attempt to start it, a wave would never get fully going. I’m sure it would never happen, but it is a really cool idea.

    As far as McCann vs. Sammons goes, have you seen our offense lately? It will hurt by giving us another week without any power in the lineup whatsoever. Sammons has done alright, but he’s still been nowhere near McCann’s level. What we have now is a competent backup catcher. Let’s not ruin it by starting him too much.

    I do think we should go back to the backup starting once every five days to give McCann some regular rest now that the backup is competent, and I think we should pair Sammons and Morton to facilitate this. They seemed to work really well together the other day, and they’re obviously very familiar with each other, having played together at pretty much every level of the Minor League ladder.

  61. ububba,

    Good stuff. Love it.

    Does anyone remember the movie reviews? I used to crack up whenever he talked about ‘The Slugger’s Wife’.

    Dang, I’m sad.

  62. Mac #84 – That’s an excellent idea. He is probably quite comfortable with Sammons as I guess he has caught him most of his career.

  63. I moved to Atlanta in the summer of ’76, and to me Skip has always been the voice of the Braves. It won’t be the same without him. I’ll always remember the “Sid Slid” call. RIP Skip.

  64. Losing Skip isn’t so much something to compare to wins and losses. It’s more of a thing where the 90s Braves, the Glavine/Smoltz/Maddux Braves, the Schurholtz Braves, the 14 straight division titles Braves, the TBS Braves are a thing of the past. The only vestige is Cox (and Chipper kinda, too, but he wasn’t there for the whole thing). Perhaps less so this year, but going into 2007, all the talk was about “getting back” that 90s glory, “starting a new streak” or whatever.

    But these days, I think the disconnect between those glory years has reached the point where comparisons between today’s teams and those just don’t make sense anymore. Skip’s passing, in addition to being a tragedy in its own right, is just a big, glaring reminder of what the Braves once were and likely won’t be again.

    Let’s not forget, the Braves were one of the first teams to be televised nationally. They had a national fan base for a good while there based on their success in the 90s and national familiarity from TBS. Their run of success has never before been duplicated and likely won’t be ever again in major athletics. They had three HoFers in the rotation, and kept them together for the better part of a decade! That’s just crazy. I grew up watching the Braves in the 90s thinking that an ERA above 3 wasn’t very good at all because mostly all I saw was Glavine, Smoltz, and Maddux putting up twos and ones.

    But for the most part, it’s gone now. And Skip’s death just brings it all home again. At this point, we’re just another decent team hoping to be in contention every year. We’ll have up years and down year, probably stay within 10 games of .500 on either side for the most part. But that’s all, not something unique. Of course, we’ll all still be rooting. But it’s different now. And one way it’ll be glaringly clear just how different the Braves are is that Skip won’t be the one telling us what’s happening.

  65. Skip was great long before the ‘glory years’ and his memory and contribution should not be reduced to the 1990s and the 14 straight titles. He was able to get many persons interested in the Braves long before they were any good. His death comes at a time when it is clear that the ‘glory years’ are really a thing of the past–but he and what he meant for the Braves was much larger than that.

  66. This is from a Sporting News forum. It’s the kind of story I love to hear:

    “Working as a night time truck driver, I was able to hear one of Skip Caray’s most famous broadcasts when I purposely parked my truck in the parking lot of Evergreen Auto Parts, Evergreen, AL (the most northern point on my route) at about 11:30 central standard time to hear Caray scream delight as Sid Bream limped and slid in safe to give the Braves their first National League Pennant in Atlanta. “A lotta room in right-center, if he hits one there we can dance in the streets. The 2-1. Swung, line drive left field! One run is in! Here comes Bream! Here’s the throw to the plate! He is…safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!…Braves win! They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream; he’s down at the bottom of a huge pile at the plate. They help him to his feet. Frank Cabrera got the game winner! The Atlanta Braves are National League champions again! This crowd is going berserk, listen!”

    “Somehow the hour and a half between Monroeville, AL and Waynesboro, MS that night was a lot shorter and sweeter. I have a feeling that if I ever pass through Evergreen again, I will probably still remember that night.”

  67. I’ll always feel that Skip was like a father to me… or at least that uncle that your parents always seem to disparage but that you can never get enough of.

    I’ll always remember October 14th 1992, hitting the mute button on McDonough and (the god-awful) McCarver, and turning on Braves local radio. His voice will always bring back that night, shouting at the top of my lungs as I stayed up WAY past my bedtime.

    I’ve moved west since, I relished every rare chance I got to hear Skip over the last few years, even if the game got out of hand… almost especially when the game got out of hand, cause he had a knack for making those the most interesting. This year has been especially tough, but perhaps it is fitting that the last time I heard Skip announce a game was his final TBS performance. He brought me to tears and made me really realize what I would be missing with the loss of TBS Braves Baseball… truly the end of an era.

    In signing off that night I remember his laments that “[his] access to [us] will now be denied.” I know that was hard for him, but with all of the outpouring support today, I think its safe to say that it will be just as hard for us.

    WE’LL MISS YOU SKIP!!!

    Sincerest regards to Chip, Josh, Pete and the whole family… Now we need to turn this team around, because we won’t have Skip around to get us through the rough patches.

  68. @91

    Feel the exact same way. I’m just sorta numb. It’s one of those things that you don’t realize what you had till it’s gone.

  69. All these stories show not only what Skip meant to Braves fans but what baseball means to fans. More than football, I think, fans connect important moments in their lives to baseball. When the Braves won the World Series, my daughter had been born the day before so I was pretty emotional anyway. I remember listening to WSB doing a call-in show and people were calling in from all over the country, especially the Midwest to talk about how they had followed the Braves all their lives and what the WS win meant to them. Skip Carey helped to bring this to people and he was wonderful at it, but it also reminds me what baseball still means in America even if it is not the juggernaut that the NFL is.

  70. One of the games I remember most vividly, oddly enough, was from 1988. July 15, 1988 against the Mets.

    My family had just moved to a new town so I didn’t know anyone. I watched a lot of Braves baseball and played a lot of basketball (alone) that summer.

    I missed the 70s-era Braves teams, but I have to imagine that 1988 was the low-point for the franchise. 0-10 to start the year and 54-108 on the year.

    On July 15, the Braves were about 20 games out and managed to squander a 3-0 lead to the Mets. Bruce Sutter came on and gave up a solo shot to Strawberry and the Mets took the lead in the 10th. Davey Johnson brought on Randy Myers to close it out.

    Like most southern boys my age, Dale Murphy was one of my favorite players. He had been so good from 1981 to 1987, so his 1988 season of swirling around the toilet was hard to take. He went from being a borderline .300 hitter with 45 dingers to being a .220 hitter who’d swing at just about anything, provided it was bouncing towards the plate.

    But on July 15, Myers didn’t mess with a breaking ball and tried to throw his fastball past him. Murphy got ahold of it and ripped it into the bleachers for a walk-off homerun and for one tiny second, everything was good and everything was fun.

    There weren’t many people in the stands and probably most had left for home. I would guess there were less than 10,000 there to see it and I doubt I was one of very many watching on television. But for that small moment, Murphy was a hero and the Braves beat the first-place Mets.

    Hell, I don’t even remember who was doing the call of the game….but that wasn’t the point. Skip was part of that broadcasting crew that was so sharp and so funny and so GOOD that even watching a pitiful team like the 1988 Braves was good television.

    In 1985, I remember us losing to someone by a lot…13-2 or something like it. Chris Chambliss came up with two outs and Skip said, “As soon as Chris figures out how to hit an 11-run homer, we’ll be fine.”

    As we all know, when the team played poorly, Skip could barely contain his disgust. It was cathartic. I remember Mike Scott nearly throwing a perfect game against us. Ken Oberkfell broke it up with a crap single in the 9th.

    I think Skip was torn between wanting to chew the team out for playing badly and wanting to chew them out for messing up the perfect game.

    In 1983, during a critical series with the Dodgers in LA, Torre brought in Tony Brizzolara by mistake. I think he meant to bring in Tommy Boggs, who had been warming up, but he brought in Brizzolara…who hadn’t. And who got lit up. When RJ Reynolds finally squeezed in the winning run against Garber in the 9th, you knew that Skip was right there with you, throwing something in disgust at having let a BADLY-needed win slip away.

    Anybody can travel with you when you’re winning. Skip was the guy you wanted when you lost.

    That was the difference to me between Skip and his dad. I never pulled for the Cubs, but I watched their afternoon games when I got home from school. Harry Caray was hillarious when something good would happen. But he would mope and sag when they lost.

    Skip Caray would get p*ssed. There wasn’t any head-hanging. You dealt with a loss by making smart-alecky comments and laughing as you swirled the drain.

  71. My favorite Skip line: “Eddie Perez has deceptive speed….he’s a lot slower than he looks.”

  72. Yeah heard the news about Skip on Sportscenter last night you will be Miss Skip although i could not hear you anymore on TBS thanks Rest In Peace.

  73. AAR,
    Well done & thanks for the links.

    Mac,
    I remember that Maddux game very well. The Yankees had no chance that day. It was amusing.

    One of the stranger things about the Yanks/Braves WS & IL games from that time was that the Braves did very well at Yankee Stadium & had all kinds of trouble winning at home.

    Between ’96 & ’01, they were 9-5 in The Bronx, but 1-9 in ATL.

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