Chip Caray has been an MLB broadcaster since all the way back in 1998 when he broke into the business alongside his grandfather Harry Caray with the Chicago Cubs. Since then, Caray has kept alive his strong family ties in the industry, moving to the Atlanta Braves in 2004 to work with his father Skip Caray. After nearly two decades in Atlanta, Caray made a surprising move back to the midwest to call games for the St. Louis Cardinals this season.
Naturally, the Caray broadcasting legacy also has a lengthy history in St. Louis. Although he’s most associated with the Cubs, Harry Caray actually had his longest tenure with the Cardinals where he worked from 1945-1969. Chip Caray grew up in St. Louis when his father Skip was getting a start in the industry calling other sports locally as well.
In reflecting on his first season, Caray says he has “no regrets” about the move in spite of his tenure in Atlanta and the fact that the Braves are currently 34 wins ahead of the Cardinals in the standings. While the Braves have the best record in baseball, the Cardinals are sitting in the cellar of the NL Central. One would think the timing from a competitive standpoint couldn’t be worse, but Caray is happy in his new broadcast home with the team he grew up watching.
Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“I have zero regrets,” he now says. “In many ways I wish I had this opportunity sooner. I’m a baseball guy who does TV, I’m not a TV guy who does baseball. … I love the game, I love the stories, I love the day-to-day. I love coming to the ballpark. When I don’t work I come to the ballpark, that’s just how I’m wired. Coming from Atlanta to here, a baseball-crazy place I grew up watching the team, all of those things really helped ease the transition.”
“Leaving was hard, leaving generational family friends in a professional sense was hard,” he said. “Changing jobs at age 58 is rare, and it was my choice. Those things were challenges. But the welcome I’ve got personally and the good reception we’ve gotten collectively as a group has really warmed my heart, my family’s heart. As my wife said, for the first time in 20 years I’m excited about our career. That means a lot to me.”
Caray filled the opening in the Cardinals booth that was filled when former announcer Dan McLaughlin left the position after multiple DWI arrests. The Cardinals have been one of the most consistently successful MLB franchises in recent years, but it remains to be seen if they can bounce back quickly on the diamond.
As for Caray’s reception in his new home, he certainly seems happy with the warm welcome he’s received. But in terms of broadcast rankings across the sport, the Cardinals booth only ranked 26th in our local broadcast rankings this year.