I was at both Cubs workouts over the weekend, in fact I saw Garza’s pitching session and when he tweaked his lat muscle. Let’s hope it is as they say, a mild muscle strain. I didn’t get around to blogging though as I had a full slate of duties and other work. Although, one of those was a Texas Hold-em Tournament, so it wasn’t all work. This weekend we get the spring games going as the Cubs will do a little California dreaming, playing the Angels in Tempe on Saturday, the Giants in Mesa on Sunday, and then the Dodgers in Glendale on Monday.
I can’t believe today marks 15 years since we lost legendary Cubs announcer Harry Caray. In the no-frills press box at old Hohokam Park my public address seat was between WGN radio, and WGN-TV. So when WGN broadcast spring games, Harry Caray sat on one side of me, and Ron Santo on the other, talk about a surreal experience. No separate climate controlled announcing booths, the air was full of the sounds of baseball and announcers plying their trade. I didn’t wear headphones so I could hear everything in stereo, Harry in one ear, Ron in the other. This also meant that Harry had no wired-in mic to sing the 7th inning stretch, so he always sang it from my PA mic.
No matter what you think of Harry’s announcing abilities as he got older, one thing was clear, he loved people and baseball. As I would breakdown my equipment after games, I watched Harry sign autographs. And sign he would, sometimes for 40 minutes until the last person got one. Fifteen years later, I still miss the vitality that he brought to the ballpark. There was never a dull moment hangin’ with Harry! In his memory, here is video I shot at old Hohokam Park of Harry singing his trademark song. I put the lyrics on the video for the exhibit, Play Ball the Cactus League Experience. Let me hear ya!