Book review by Keith Glab, BaseballEvolution.com
December 22, 2007
Pat Hughes guides us through Harry's career
If you are looking for a detailed insider's view of what Harry Caray's
broadcasting days were like with the Cubs, pick up Where's Harry by
Caray's longtime broadcast partner, Steve Stone.
Harry Caray: Voice of the Fans provides more of a general overview of
the Hall of Famer's broadcast career. Given the fact that Hughes has been
the radio voice of the Chicago Cubs for more than a decade and broadcast
alongside Harry for parts of two seasons, one might expect a more biased,
personal account of Harry's life and career. As much as Hughes obviously
loves Harry, however, he loves the art of broadcasting. Hughes spends
nearly as much time expounding on Harry's time as a Cardinals broadcaster as he
does on his time with the Cubs.
The book includes a copy of the original Baseball Voices audio CD, a tribute
broadcaster Pat Hughes made to Harry in 2006. If you've already listened
to the CD, you probably know what I'm talking about regarding focus. It's
evident that one of Hughes' goals with this tribute is to educate fans who only
remember Harry from his time with the Cubs. Harry would have been a Hall
of Fame-caliber broadcaster had his career ended without ever broadcasting for
the North Siders and becoming better known for his antics than his actual
The book itself mostly contains extra tidbits about Harry's life that Hughes
didn't have room for on the CD. Some of these nuggets, like the section
describing how Harry instructed his son to decline any posthumous Hall of Fame
recognition that Harry might have received, are priceless, and you wonder why
they weren't included on the audio disc originally. There are also
interesting quotes of praise from Harry on Bob Gibson, Stan Musial, Willie Mays,
Sandy Koufax, and Jackie Robinson.
My favorite section in the book describes how Harry would regularly criticize
White Sox slugger Bill Melton, among others, leading to Harry's falling out of
favor on the South Side. Pushing Harry away would prove to be the worst
financial decision the White Sox would make until they signed Jaime Navarro for
$15 million in 1997. It was a mistake that Cubs player would mirror
decades later with Steve Stone, though the charmed Tribune Company suffered no
ill pecuniary effects due to that public relations blunder. Read through
this book, and you'll find one or two things that touch you in this manner.
The photography is also incredible. Some of the earliest photos
included depict a Harry without oversized glasses and oversized jowls, making
him difficult to recognize. Numerous shots of a shirtless Harry guzzling
beer during one of his bleacher broadcasts are sure to win over his female fans.
I particularly enjoyed the shot of Harry smooching with Hillary Clinton... now
we know that Bill was just jealous.
Harry Caray: Voice of the Fans tickles your senses and
stimulates your mind. Buy this book, stick it on your coffee table, and enjoy. It has nearly
the repeat reading value as the CD has repeat listening value.
Harry Caray: Voice of the Fans is available at bookstores nationwide
or from the publisher,
For the original audio CD, which contains artwork not included in the copy
issued with the book, either go to
BaseballVoices.com or the
Baseball Evolution Store.
Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Keith resides in Chicago, Illinois and can be reached at email@example.com.