History has repeated itself in St. Louis. Back in 1969, the Cardinals fired the popular Harry Caray as their television broadcaster after a 25-year run. Why? Because Caray reportedly didn’t get along with Gussie Busch, who headed the Anheuser-Busch brewery that owned the team.
Cardinals fans were outraged. Nearly 54 years later, another Harry Caray has been hired to be on the Cardinals airwaves.
This Harry Caray is Harry Caray III, better known as Chip Caray, Harry’s grandson. He’s been hired by Bally Sports Midwest, which televises Cardinals’ games, to be the team’s television play-by-play announcer.
A Must Hire
The Cardinals desperately needed to make a splash with their new play-by-play guy because their former play-by-play guy screwed up.
Chip Caray is replacing Dan McLaughlin, who quit in December in a mutual decision with the Cardinals after he was arrested for drunk driving for the third time since 2010. This arrest was on a felony charge of persistent driving while intoxicated that required him to post a $25,000 bond to get out of jail.
Creve Coeur (Mo.) police received multiple calls about a “vehicle driving erratically in traffic” and arrested McLaughlin, who called himself an alcoholic but said he had turned his life around during a 2011 interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
McLaughlin, 48, had been the Cardinals’ TV play-by-play announcer in 2010. He was doing nearly all of the Cardinals’ 150 televised games each season. It isn’t known if Chip Caray will continue that schedule. What is known is Chip’s first game will be Feb. 25, the Cardinals’ spring training Grapefruit League opener vs. the Washington Nationals.
Chip Caray Bio
So who is Chip Caray? He’s 57 (he’ll be 58 on Feb. 27) and a St. Louis native. He was the Atlanta Braves’ TV play-by-play broadcaster for the past 18 years, following in the footsteps of his father, Harry “Skip” Caray Jr. Chip was the TV play-by-play announcer from 1998-2004 for the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals’ bitter rival.
“I’m thrilled to death,” Chip Caray told the Post-Dispatch about his new gig. “St. Louis is home in so many ways. To come back and continue what the old old-timer (Harry Caray) started in 1945 is a real thrill for all of us in the family. I fell in love with baseball in St. Louis.
I joke around when I tell people I think I was conceived after a game at Sportsman’s Park, and I went to a zillion games at Busch Stadium II (forerunner to the current Busch Stadium). I was part of a generation that knew the 1964 Cardinals’ starting lineup before they knew the ABCs. That’s all part of our DNA growing up in that part of the world.”
Chip Caray was a fixture in Atlanta. If he were ever going to leave the Braves voluntarily, he said, it would be to go to St. Louis because it’s home — his mother, Lisa Osterkamp, two sisters, a brother, and aunts and uncles live in the area — and the Cardinals are the “gold standard,” he said. Caray is married to the former Susan Eyerly. They have four children ranging in age from 14 to 25. The family lives in St. Augustine, Fla.