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