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April 22, 2011

Friday 5: Josh Caray

Baseball is known as a game that fathers pass down to their sons and, in turn, they’ll pass down to their sons.  And with that in mind…there have been a number of famous father-son tandems that have taken their acts to the Majors.

In some cases, that same tradition has even manifested itself in the broadcast booth thanks to the Bucks, the Brennamans and, most recently, the Suttons.

But no family has had more success than the Carays…Harry, Skip and Chip.

And now…a fourth Caray is trying his hand at broadcasting.


HOVG: Are there pressures sitting behind the mic with the last name “Caray”? I’ve gotta think that everyone is going to want to tune in and hear the next Harry, Skip or Chip.

CARAY: There are certainly pressures, but they are only as big as I make them to be. The people who "expect" me to be another Harry/Skip/Chip are generally people who don't know this industry and all the politics that go into it. My grandfather and father could get away with a lot of things that I cannot. There is a lot that I don't control. So I simply focus on what I can control, which is my broadcasting, and let the rest take care of itself.

HOVG: What is Josh Caray’s style…and are you working on a catchphrase yet?

CARAY: No catchphrases. My dad didn't have one and niether does my borther and both have been very successful. My grandfather had one, but he would have been just as popular without one. I would say that my style is very similar to my father's. I try to keep the game relaxed and simple. I get excited when a big play happens, but overall I try to keep the game pastoral.

HOVG: You grew up in the ATL hanging around with your dad Skip and the Braves. Would calling games for Atlanta be the dream job for you? If not…what would be?

CARAY: Atlanta would certainly be one of them, but when you consider that there are only about 60-80 play-by-play men calling games each year, you become grateful for being one of those chosen few. I would go wherever the job is. Of course, places like Chicago and St. Louis would be great because of my family's history there.

HOVG: Did you ever have a chance to join your father in the broadcast booth? If so…how was it?

CARAY: He actually allowed me to call a half-inning of one game when the Braves were getting blown out by the Expos when I was still in high school. It was memorable because I did the inning with Joe Simpson (who is one of the best analysts in the game, by the way, and a good friend) while my dad stood behind me and listened. It was a cool moment just because he got to hear me do a Major League game before he died and I know that meant a lot to him.

HOVG: Lastly, I grew up outside Chicago and spent a majority of my life hearing your grandfather both on the radio and TV. That said, I’ve also been subjected to hearing countless Harry Caray impersonations. In your estimation, who does the best? And do you do one yourself?

CARAY: I do have one and its decent, but its not as good as Will Ferrell's. I think he has very good one as does comedian John Campanera. The worst is from Michael Wilbon and Jay Mariotti. Both should stick to writing.

Josh Caray begins his stint in the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs broadcast booth later this month. He has also called games alongside Brian Jordan for the Gwinnett Braves of the International League, the Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League and the San Angelo Colts of United League Baseball.


William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Fantastic interview. I really enjoyed this post. Superb.

Have you heard Dempster's impersonation of Harry? It's pretty good. It's on YouTube somewhere.

Jesus Melendez said...

It's right here, commented on it after I posted it. Haha.