Skip Caray has sadly passed on to that great broadcast booth in the sky.
Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION reports that the longtime Braves announcer died in his sleep Sunday night. Skip was in his 33rd season calling Braves games, but numerous health problems caused Caray to limit his workload to only home games this season.
Back in April, Caray admitted he was “battling diabetes, congestive heart failure, an irregular heartbeat and reduced kidney and liver functions.” And during this season’s Opening Day, Skip said he almost died last October. But despite his illnesses, Caray still strove to put on the best broadcast he could:
“When I’m working, I’m fine,” he told the AJC. “You know intellectually that you’re exhausted, but so what? Concentrate on the game. I know this: I’m not going to embarrass myself. If I can’t do this, I’ll be the first to know it. I’ve had a hell of a run, so I’ve got nothing to complain about. If I die tonight, I’ve had a great life.”
Although saddened by his father’s passing, son Chip was glad that the last words he said to his dad was how much he loved him, spoken during a phone call Chip made to Skip on Saturday. And Chip hopes his father is in a better place:
“I hope and pray he’s not hurting anymore,” Chip Caray said. “I hope and pray he’s sitting on a barstool somewhere with his dad (legendary Cubs announcer Harry Caray) arguing about baseball, and his mom and his brother who he misses dearly. I hope he’s at peace. Because I know he wasn’t the last couple years. And he battled and fought and didn’t do a whole lot of complaining.”
Skip was there to call the greatest moments in Braves history, like the dramatic 1992 NLCS win over the Pirates, and the club’s only World Series championship in 1995. But he was also in the booth for the lean years, and knew when he was witnessing some bad baseball:
And he made the call in the late innings of a lousy game in the lost season of 1979: “You have our permission to turn off the TV and go to bed now … as long as you promise to patronize our sponsors.”
Skip will definitely be missed. Good night, funnyman.