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.
“Our baseball community has lost a legend today,” said Braves president John Schuerholz. “The Braves family and Braves fans everywhere will sadly miss him. Our thoughts are with his wife Paula and his children.”
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.
Although he was visibly weaker, Caray still brought his smile and humor to the ballpark on a consistent basis this season. Since the final month of last season, he had been limited to broadcasting only home games.
Caray was hospitalized during the latter portion of last season and faced even greater complications once the season concluded. In October 2007, doctors were concerned enough about Caray’s health that they asked for all of his family members to come to the hospital to possibly pay their last respects. His liver was failing and the doctors in the intensive care unit felt they had done all that they could do.
Caray battled back and spent most of this past winter continuing to fight ailments that were affecting his liver, kidneys and heart. He said some of his prescribed medications worked in a counteractive manner and made it difficult for him to sleep.
When Caray returned to broadcast games at the beginning of this season, he talked about his near-death experience and said that he was happy to at least have an opportunity to return to the baseball world that had provided so much to himself and his family.
“I’m 68,” Caray said on April 2. “If I go tonight, I’ve had a hell of a life.”
*****from mlb.com and I do believe Skip Caray was one of the most memorable announcers of all-time in the South where baseball fans and sports fans have followed the Atlanta Braves for many years. Braves baseball became a lifestyle in the South. Baseball fans listened to Skip Caray and the Braves religously on the radio and I’ll always remember Skip for the line, “The stretch, the pitch”…..Another line would come to mind when Sid Bream scored and the Braves beat the Pirates in the Playoffs and Skip yelled BRAVES WIN, BRAVES WIN, BRAVES WIN…..*****