Almost every team has a player that is identified or promoted as the face of the franchise. In today’s modern free agency world, that face often changes. Just as recognizable as the face of the franchise, is the voice of the franchise. These announcers are oftentimes just as important to the fanbase as the players. Their voices provide comfort and stability. Their careers are much longer than the players. They typically don’t jump franchises for bigger contracts. Just like the players, the best are enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Harry Caray is not the first Cubs announcer in the Hall of Fame. He had a longer broadcasting tenure with the Cardinals as well as an eleven-year stint with the south side White Sox. However, thanks to perfect timing with the expansion of cable television, Harry Caray become synonymous with the Cubs. The Cubbies were lovable losers during the majority of his tenure. The game experience oftentimes became more memorable than the result. What fan couldn’t identify with the Mayor of Rush Street? There was the caricature appearance with the glasses, the mispronunciations, and the goofy expressions. There was a toughness in addition to the goofy side. He came back from a severe motor vehicle accident in St. Louis and a stroke while with the Cubbies. He was an unabashed homer. “Let’s get some more runs!”, he would add to his famous seventh-inning stretch.
Harry Caray did not want to mistake a home run, which led to his “It might be… It could be…” call for a deep fly ball. Cubs fans waited for a jubilant “It is!!!” Some things have changed since Harry Caray called his last game for the Cubs in 1998. For one, they are finally World Series champions. Some things are also the same. His seventh-inning stretch tradition continues on. There is something in that gravelly voice that is memorable and mesmerizing. Everybody all together now, “Ah one, Ah two, Ah three….Take me out to the ballgame...”