A part of

Issue # 22 Thursday, April 2, 1998

About the Author:

Charles Loyd McIntosh

In 1997 Charles Loyd McIntosh was a news writer for the Talledega Daily Home (www.dailyhome.com). He was a former reporter for The Western Star in Bessemer (a small city west of Birmingham), Alabama, and a former Sports Editor for the Clanton Advertiser. At the time he was writing for the Sideroad, Loyd was pursuing a Masters in English degree at the University of Montevallo, Alabama. An avid sports fan, soccer is Loyd's sport of choice, one he has been known to coach in the recent past.


Harry Carey

By the time you read this, baseball season will have gotten into gear, but it just won't be the same without hearing Harry Carey butcher the names of every National Leaguer who comes to the plate.

He was the only reason to watch Cubs games - period. "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the seventh inning, saying names backwards and, of course, the "Holy Cow" of a Cub home-run made baseball actually fun to watch. Otherwise, baseball is like watching the grass grow.

When my friends and I first heard Harry was in the hospital, and it looked like he might not pull through, most of them said, "Poor Harry." Well I say, "poor Harry nothing!" This guy had one hell of a life. It seemed like it was one big shin-dig to Harry. You had to admire his attitude.

How can you feel sorry for a guy who spent everyday of his professional life at the ball park catching ball games, eating hot dogs and drinking Budweiser? He got to see his son and his grandson go on to be broadcasters. He was going to do some games with his grandson, Skip, this season. He was like the great-grandfather of baseball announcers.

Vin Scully, Dick Enberg, Pete Van Wearren ain't got nuthin' on Harry. How can you say "Poor Harry" when the guy was the best out there?

And you know what? The guy said good-bye to us all while dancing and having a good time with his wife on Valentine's Day. No tears, no heartbreak, no "I wish I could have done it a different way," no "I'm sorry for hitting my wife and ignoring my kids." In my own humble opinion, Harry Carey went out with a dignity and class few of us will ever know. Wrigley field will be a lonelier place without him.

This season will be the first Cub season without Harry since my folks got cable back in 1981. Chip Carey, the third generation of Careys to call baseball, will step up to the microphone this spring and summer and will do a great job, but we all know it's going to be emotional for him for the first few weeks, as it will be for baseball fans everywhere.

Baseball has gone through some crazy changes in the half-century Harry saw behind the mike. Indoor stadiums, Astro-Turf, the designated hitter, free agency, strikes and now inter-league play. However, I don't think baseball has gone through a change like this. He had become an icon, the personification of the actual game of baseball. I'm picking the Cubs to win the National League Central Division and maybe to even beat the Braves and, what the hell, even to beat the Indians in the fall classic. And I hope the Cubs celebrate in the locker room with cigars the size of telephone poles and spray each other with Budweiser.

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Text copyright Charles Loyd MacIntosh, 1997 - '98. Part of the original Sideroad ezine.
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