Eulogy: Harry Caray

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Sometime in the 1960s Harry Caray found himself in Memphis, Tenn. The phone rang in his hotel room. "Harry," the voice said, "this is Elvis Presley. I grew up in Mississippi listening to you call the Cardinal games on KMOX. I think you're the greatest. I'm sending a car over to bring you to Graceland." There, by Caray's account, the two sat till the early-morning hours, eating barbecue, drinking Budweiser and talking baseball.

Entertainers loved Harry Caray. He counted many, Sinatra and Elvis included, as friends. And why not? Caray himself was a kind of performance artist, working from a broadcast booth instead of a stage. The Harry Caray Elvis heard in the '50s and '60s was a truly great announcer; his outsized personality combined with exceptional broadcasting skills. In recent years, with age and illness, those skills diminished, leaving only Harry: the voice, the windshield-size glasses, the passion for the game that made him the fan's announcer. And that was good enough.

Some guys can just hold an audience. In baseball, no matter the score, fans have never left the park until Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Willie Mays or Junior Griffey has had his last turn at-bat. And at Wrigley Field, even if the Cubs trailed by 10, no one ever left before Harry Caray sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Only then was the experience complete. Hey, Elvis, wherever you are--your pal Harry has left the building.

--By Bob Costas