Skip Caray a finalist for Hall of Fame award

The late Skip Caray with his former Braves broadcast partner, Pete Van Wieren.

The late Skip Caray with his former Braves broadcast partner, Pete Van Wieren.

After her late husband, Skip Caray, made the list of finalists for a Hall of Fame’s Ford Frick Award Wednesday, Paula Caray was asked what he would’ve said if he had received the news. She laughed and responded, “He’d probably say, ‘It’s about time.’ And he would’ve been right.”

Caray, whose entertaining wit and unique style entertained Braves fans for 33 years, is among 10 finalists for the 2012 National Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual Ford Frick Award. Caray died in August of 2008. He also was on the ballot for the 2010 award but did not make it. The Hall honors only one recipient per year. This year’s winner will be announced Dec. 6.

Skip’s father, Harry Caray, was honored in 1989. His son, Chip Caray, broadcasts Braves games.

“Obviously I’m biased, but I’m thrilled my dad’s on the ballot,” Chip Caray said. “It’s also a little bit of a half-empty feeling because, as I’m sure he would’ve said, Ernie Johnson and Pete Van Wieren should be on there with him. The other reason it’s bitter sweet is he’s not here to get the news himself. But we’re all thrilled and everybody who ever worked with him or listened to him knows it’s well deserved.”

It’s a shame Caray has not yet been honored. Unlike players, broadcasters do not have to be retired to receive the award. They are only required to have a minimum of 10 years of continuous experience with a team or network. More than 250 broadcasters were eligible for this year’s ballot.

Few radio or TV broadcasters have had as great an impact as Caray. His honesty and his sarcastic wit set him apart from most, and broadcasting Braves games enabled him to reach a national audience on TBS.

He was inducted into the Atlanta Braves’ Hall of Fame in 2004. He is overdue for an honor from Cooperstown.

Pete Van Wieren’s perfect description of Skip Caray:

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

96 comments Add your comment

Chattanooga Chuck

October 5th, 2011
4:20 pm

Caray was a better technical announcer but Ernie Johnson was my favorite.

Jason

October 5th, 2011
4:24 pm

I’d make the trip to Cooperstown if any of the men who were the Voice of the Braves were inducted.

Dre

October 5th, 2011
4:32 pm

I loved listening to Skip do Braves games. I think he was at his best when doing radio broadcasts. The chemistry between, himself, Ernie, and Pete was for many years, more entertaining than the Braves themselves. I miss listening to all 3 of them. RIP Skip and Ernie.

Banned Poster

October 5th, 2011
4:34 pm

I concur with Jason. A trip to Cooperstown is coming up for me in a few years when the big three and #6 get inducted, but I would love nothing more than to plan an early trip for Skip, Pete, and/or Ernie. All three deserve it and hopefully Skip will get in. It is long overdue for all three.

meh

October 5th, 2011
4:36 pm

Skip Caray was is and will always be one of the best. He deserves a spot in Cooperstown.

elvisaintdead

October 5th, 2011
4:40 pm

The best thing about heaven?
You don’t step on downed power lines!

athdog

October 5th, 2011
4:41 pm

Skip is absolutely deserving of this honor. Pete and Ernie, as well. But Skip, able to do basketball and football with the ease of baseball richly deserves it. In fact, I enjoyed Skip’s broadcasting of the Hawks games every bit as much as the Braves, and much more than Holman, who sounds as though every single shot is the shot that wins the NBA title. Too over the top for my taste.
Skip is a HOFer.

Dr. Warren

October 5th, 2011
4:46 pm

I’ll never forget, “It’s cocktail hour, folks!”–even though Skip started using the phrase when I was too young even to appreciate what a cocktail was.

JoeFann

October 5th, 2011
4:47 pm

Skip was always my favorite, simply because you never knew what was coming. He painted the picture marvelously, and many nights in my youth, I fell asleep listening to the call on the radiom whether Braves or Hawks. Of course the Braves were considerably more boring then. Loved Pete, too, but then, I’m a numbers guy. Ernie was good, and deserves to be in Cooperstown, if for no other reason than he had to put up with that boor, Milo Hamilton, for so many years. After he left, the broadcasts immediately improved, even if the team didn’t. Skip always made it entertaining. RIP, Skip and Ernie.

Chop Chop

October 5th, 2011
4:48 pm

Sure hope Skip makes it. Hope to see Ernie and Pete in there someday soon, too.

Dr. Warren

October 5th, 2011
4:49 pm

Jeff, please check the spam folder for my comment about Skip. Seems your China IP filter got it again. Thanks.

THEX

October 5th, 2011
4:49 pm

I miss Skip – and Ernie.

?

October 5th, 2011
5:09 pm

Know it’s unrelated, but noticed guy who writes the nba blog hasn’t written anything about talks or whatever since Aug. Jeff and the boys have written more stuff on it then their own nba writer…..must be off getting stoned with all the other nba players.
Think they’ll put in a wacky weed clause in the new cba? players would revolt like ricky williams.
I hope that league folds forever.

1eyedJack

October 5th, 2011
5:09 pm

Yeah, “A can of corn” Milo Hamilton was about as bad as oatmeal without sugar on it.

Skip, Pete, Ernie and Larry Munson. They all deserve high honors.

extremus

October 5th, 2011
5:11 pm

Skip Caray could occasionally say things that would land him in hot water, but boy, do I miss hearing him, Pete, and Ernie call the games. Sometimes things do happen on the field that call for a bit of a biting, sarcastic remark, and Skip always obliged when he was in the booth. Personally I think all three of those guys should be in the Hall of Fame, if the others aren’t already.

?

October 5th, 2011
5:13 pm

p.s. go skip go…and thanks for the help from above with the braves this year..Are we sure he’s UP there and not down somewhere else?! With all the stories I’ve heard…..hehe, just kidding…don’t get your panties in a wad.

?

October 5th, 2011
5:15 pm

Hey skip, anyone asking you to explain the infield fly rule where your at? Tell em to go to hell..

?

October 5th, 2011
5:16 pm

Don’t get mushy on us Jeff

1eyedJack

October 5th, 2011
5:31 pm

Ernie Johnson: Strike three! Caught him looking there Skip.

Skip Carey: Yep Ernie, and we go to the bottom of another fifth. ;)

jon

October 5th, 2011
5:50 pm

An Atlanta Icon!

TheAntiMe

October 5th, 2011
6:47 pm

No matter how bad the Bravos were playing, especially in the early years, Skip was always there with a one-liner or a story to make me laugh. I miss Skip very much.

Najeh Davenpoop

October 5th, 2011
6:59 pm

And a fan from Dublin, GA comes away with the souvenir.

CRO-MAGNON MAN

October 5th, 2011
7:07 pm

Finallly I get to agree on something with Schultzie….Skip should be in the Hall of Fame….He had a special wit about him and was really entertaining even sometimes when the games were not…Put him in, he deserves it…..INSTEAD OF THE BOTTOM OF ANOTHER FIFTH, IT IS THE BOTTOM OF THE 9TH, AND ITS TIME FOR SKIP TO GO IN…..

"Chef" Tim Dix

October 5th, 2011
7:15 pm

Pick a game, any game from his career( OK ,not MotoBall from the Turner Games), show me where he did not engage the fan and casual listener/viewer. You can’t.

That’s why he should be in .

busterbrave

October 5th, 2011
7:23 pm

i don’t think we realized until they were gone how good we had it for years,if not on the field,in the broadcast booth for 3 decades. i remember 1966 and on,till milo got the hell on,and we had ernie,skip,and pete for 3 DECADES! boy were we blessed.we still have joe,don,chip to carry on the tradition.skip has been a hall of famer for a long time,regardless of the voters opinions,they need to do the right thing finally and vote for induction. word!

Orangello

October 5th, 2011
7:52 pm

Terry Furlow for three…gooood!

"Chef" Tim Dix

October 5th, 2011
7:57 pm

My Dad had breakfast with Marshall Mann in ‘83 while I was recovering from surgery at Piedmont.

Dad called to remind me to watch the game. Skip gave me a shout out.

Nuff said.

"Chef" Tim Dix

October 5th, 2011
8:05 pm

A Great first or second bananna for baseball, the man had no peer calling basketball on the radio.

"Chef" Tim Dix

October 5th, 2011
8:09 pm

Bob Neal’s stories of Skip doing the Action Eleven Sports nightly at six on now WXIA are priceless.

And accurate.

KEV

October 5th, 2011
8:26 pm

Mr Schultz, I have always read your articles as well as the other writers at AJC. I enjoy the insight you guys give. I am a student at Kennesaw State University and I am writing a feature story on the Braves collapse. I was wondering if you would be willing to share just a few of your thoughts on what caused the collapse, what the team needs to do to improve for next season and also how they can win back fans. I would need to quote you in the story and also provide contact info (an email would be fine). Thanks.

Kevin

K-Baby

October 5th, 2011
8:27 pm

Greatest Skip Carey quote: “The bases are now drunk with Braves”

beachcomber

October 5th, 2011
8:28 pm

Joe Fann – Have to agree with your 4:47. Have been lucky enough to meet Ernie, Pete and Milo. Two of the three oozed with class. The other was a world class boor. If there’s a God, Skip gets into the Hall.

Dan

October 5th, 2011
8:44 pm

RIP Steve Jobs. You were a true inventor and capitalist. You created more wealth and jobs unlike the current goofballs ruining the country. Sadly they want to make guys like you nonexistent. Just ask current ceo’s who say their business would never be able to start up under the current assault by the obuma.

Hillbilly D

October 5th, 2011
10:14 pm

Skip deserves it and I hope he gets it. The only other 2 I am familiar with are Mike Shannon and Tim McCarver. Shannon is ok but if McCarver gets it, it’ll make me physically ill.

5150 UOAD

October 5th, 2011
10:38 pm

Is it the ABUSED LIVER and drunk behind the MIC HoF?

foxdog

October 5th, 2011
10:39 pm

When Skip and Ernie died it was like losing a family member. A close one family member.

dawg4u

October 5th, 2011
11:08 pm

Skip Caray was always the one that everyone wanted to hear because he was so humerous and always painted an excellent picture of what was happening. Ernie was the lead announcer and the most lovable guy around who could turn a phrase with the best of them. Pete was the “professor” who could quote statistics at will and at one time the Braves traveling secretary. The three of them were just magic together and blended so well. I still have very fond memories of even those awful teams of the ’70’s and ’80’s (with a few exceptions) just because of these wonderful broadcasters and icons of the Atlanta sports scene. I wish they would all get in the hall of fame. I think Skip’s wife Paula said it best when asked what he might have said – “it’s about time.” Amen to that!

dawg4u

October 5th, 2011
11:16 pm

The word “humerous” should read “humorous.”

who dat?

October 5th, 2011
11:42 pm

Jim Powell and Don Sutton deserves it as well…NOT!!!

who dat?

October 5th, 2011
11:46 pm

Skip was overrated.

BooBoo

October 5th, 2011
11:59 pm

Skip was a good basketball announcer. Harry Carey was a good baseball announcer. Ted Turner put Skip in the Braves booth and Skip Carey acted like he had been sent to Siberia, largely because the Braves sucked. The “lose, lose, lose” made him loathesome to listen to. Like father, like son, both were alcholics; and Skip Carey’s drinking jokes – drinking would eventually kill him – were not funny. Well, maybe Tony LaRussa would have chuckled. I certainly do not believe Skip Carey was worthy of being considered for some Hall of Fame; but then I don’t believe anyone who has transformed their bodies through the use of steroids should be paid to play any of the major sports (although I am all for fair representation in prison leagues). Wrassling is the only one.

Bernard

October 6th, 2011
12:59 am

Skip was the best

Lou Piniella's cap

October 6th, 2011
1:27 am

K-Baby

October 5th, 2011
8:27 pm
Greatest Skip Carey quote: “The bases are now drunk with Braves”
——————————-
His lines about drinking or being drunk always brought a smile to your face. Back when Jack McKeon was the Marlins manager the first time around, the Braves were playing them one game and were just killing Florida. We had loaded the bases and Skip said “the bases are loaded and I’m sure Jack McKeon wishes he was too.” Classic Skip

heartofdarkness

October 6th, 2011
1:36 am

The amazing thing was he knew where everyone was sitting in the stadium and called it out when they caught a foul ball.

Sid

October 6th, 2011
1:54 am

So many fond memories, on TV and radio. Back in the day traveling the SE by car listening to the call of the game as the miles became compressed only interrupted by an occasional Mickey D’s stop for some relief and ground beef. Skip could make a 3 hour drive seem like a quick trip to the 7-11. You are missed.

Sid

October 6th, 2011
2:00 am

…………….and just a shout out to the who dat’s ……………unequivocal proof that classlessness runs rampant in the bayou.

Whopper Dawg

October 6th, 2011
2:06 am

As unique as it is, Skip, Pete and Ernie all deserve it. Day after day, season after season announcing the Braves professionally, entertainingly and with a sense of humor when they were about the worst team in the majors and I watched and listened every chance I had.

They should be inducted as a group.

Buttsmehre

October 6th, 2011
3:19 am

Skip, Ernie, and Pete were the greatest broadcast team ever, and it isn’t even close. In the booth, they were fully the equivalent of the other holy trinity- Glavine, Smoltz, and Maddux.

I loved those guys like family. During the worst of times in the seventies and eighties we knew how lucky we were to have something that special. Without them, it’ll never really be Summer again.

Bill

October 6th, 2011
7:18 am

5150 and who dat go crawl back in your holes.You two are not members of a civilized society.

Skip,Pete,and Ernie kept us entertained through some horrible Braves seasons.That takes a special talent.How Mrs Carey and Chip get the call.It would be richly deserved.

Mark

October 6th, 2011
7:58 am

I hope Skip gets in. I see that Milo Hamilton is on the electorate and he and the Caray family did not get along. That will be interesting.