Still Wild About Harry
Harry spent nearly 30 years giving voice to Chicago hopes and dreams.
More often than not, those dreams were dashed, but each spring Harry kept hope alive; pumping the Windy City faithful with his trademark unabashed exuberance and unbridled, optimistic energy.
Only 14 when his mother died from pneumonia, Harry was forced to keep his own spirits up and fend for himself after his father went off to fight in World War One. A lover of baseball, the University of Alabama offered Harry a spot on their team, but he had to decline due to his financial circumstances.
Determined to make a living doing what he loved, Harry honed his skills and learned his craft at small operations in Joliet, Illinois and Kalamazoo, Michigan before landing his dream job in St. Louis.
For the better part of 53 summers, his infectious enthusiasm provided the soundtrack for millions who follow America’s Pastime. And his power of positive thinking played no small part in the incredible popularity of what is now considered a ritual at baseball parks everywhere.
Harry Caray passed away in 1998, but his legacy and spirit lives on beyond the ivy-covered walls of iconic Wrigley Field.
Join us on the Northside and discover why we are Still Wild About Harry on this edition of Leaders & Legends
“There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment”.
NORMAN VINCENT PEALE
p.s…. Harry Caray was the consummate salesman, selling the beauty of baseball, his sponsors beer and the idea that you’re never too old to be thinking young. That spirit still lives on with the late night talk show crowd.
Harry’s legendary run on WGN and the mythology created through the 7th Inning Stretch also played a key role in boosting Cubs fortunes on the balance sheet. The Cubs are now worth $3.1 billion, making them one of five big league clubs to be valued at more than $3 billion. The team is currently owned by the Ricketts family, which paid $700 million to acquire the franchise in 2009. Former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Ron Rapoport observed, “Harry’s impact on the Cubs franchise was immeasurable. He was the face of the franchise in a way that no player could have been because the players didn’t stay that long; they came and went, especially in that era. But Harry was there forever.”
When the Cubs finally ended a 108-year drought and won it all in 2016, one of his long-time sponsors made sure Harry was part of the celebration.