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Lip Man 1

Harry Caray Book...

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Just received in the mail today a new book on the life and times of Harry Caray called, "The Legendary Harry Caray" by Don Zminda a member of SABR and an individual who worked for  Fox Sports.

I have just thumbed through it and will start reading it tonight but from what I have perused the section on the White Sox days are very informative and revealing.

I was one of the number of individuals interviews by Zminda and I also provided access to the interviews that I did with former Sox people who knew Harry.

I highly recommend this book, it may make a nice Christmas gift for a Sox fan!

Edited by Lip Man 1
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Among Reinsdorf's many visionless moves was letting Harry get away and losing a generation of Sox fans with a move to pay TV.

Imagine Reinsdorf having the same positive impact on his own organization as he had on the Cubs.

Edited by GradMc
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I still wonder to this day how many fans were lost to the Cubs at the time Harry switched teams because of Harry's immense popularity AND the fact Reinsdorf/Einhorn foolishly took the Sox off of WGN and put them on the ill-conceived Sportsvision station. 

Apparently, according to the author of this book, there was a survey taken at the time that showed that a whopping 44% of people who identified as White Sox fans said they were open to rooting for the Cubs just because of Harry.  That's how damn popular the guy was back then! 

So you couple the loss of Harry AND the loss of Sox on free TV and, well, you do the math.  

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31 minutes ago, Melton1972 said:

Didn't Harry Caray literally try to fight Jerry at a public function sometime in the 1990's.

Yes, at the MLB All Star game at Wrigley Field.

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I  always thought that both JR and Einhorn were jealous of  how popular Harry Caray was with White Sox fans.

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1 hour ago, GradMc said:

Among Reinsdorf's many visionless moves was letting Harry get away and losing a generation of Sox fans with a move to pay TV.

Imagine Reinsdorf having the same positive impact on his own organization as he had on the Cubs.

Harry did not like the Katzenjammer Kids. Let's not sugarcoat things. 

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4 hours ago, pcq said:

Harry did not like the Katzenjammer Kids. Let's not sugarcoat things. 

At first he actually did, the 10th Inning show from April 23, 1981 between games of the DH on WGN-TV Harry had them both on as his guests and spoke glowingly about the job they were doing, how they were spending money and bringing excitement back.

That changed quickly though.

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47 minutes ago, WBWSF said:

Yes, at the MLB All Star game at Wrigley Field.

I've never heard of this one before, details please.

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3 hours ago, Fan O'Faust said:

I still wonder to this day how many fans were lost to the Cubs at the time Harry switched teams because of Harry's immense popularity AND the fact Reinsdorf/Einhorn foolishly took the Sox off of WGN and put them on the ill-conceived Sportsvision station. 

Apparently, according to the author of this book, there was a survey taken at the time that showed that a whopping 44% of people who identified as White Sox fans said they were open to rooting for the Cubs just because of Harry.  That's how damn popular the guy was back then! 

So you couple the loss of Harry AND the loss of Sox on free TV and, well, you do the math.  

Add in the Cubs winning the division in '84, the explosion of cable tv, and WGN being part of the national cable package...

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1 hour ago, Lip Man 1 said:

I've never heard of this one before, details please.

Yes, I would love to know more.  The only rumor I’ve heard is how Harry was having an affair with the owner of the Cardinals (Busch) daughter-in-law.

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3 minutes ago, Harper2Sox said:

Yes, I would love to know more.  The only rumor I’ve heard is how Harry was having an affair with the owner of the Cardinals (Busch) daughter-in-law.

All I remember was that  after they both showed up at some baseball function, Harry lost it and had to be restrained from punching out Reindorf. I think Reinsdorf was more embarrassed than anything. I also remember Harry on the David Letterman Show. At the end of his interview Dave wanted to get a rise out him so he asked how the White Sox were doing. Harry replied sarcastically " Oh they got their new stadium"  and something else that was unflattering about the White Sox.  Dave smiled and said "oh Harry". Harry not only hated the White Sox owners he hated anything having to do with the White Sox

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1 hour ago, Melton1972 said:

Harry not only hated the White Sox owners he hated anything having to do with the White Sox

Not true at all. In his biography for example Harry wrote that when fans would ask him why did you leave? He answered that he loved Sox fans and Comiskey Park but simply could not stand the owners calling them "assholes."

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Wish we wouldn't even talk abt him.  Once he crossed town, he became dead to so many of us-- like crossing a picket line.  I wish ppl would just forget about him.

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11 hours ago, Lip Man 1 said:

I've never heard of this one before, details please.

Its in the book, Chapter 20-The mayor of Rush Street, Page 209.

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11 hours ago, Harper2Sox said:

Yes, I would love to know more.  The only rumor I’ve heard is how Harry was having an affair with the owner of the Cardinals (Busch) daughter-in-law.

Later got fired and run over by a car. 

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Cubs fans got a slightly less great version of Harry than we did. When people age they become caricatures of themselves, and Harry was no different. 

 

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6 hours ago, longshot7 said:

Wish we wouldn't even talk abt him.  Once he crossed town, he became dead to so many of us-- like crossing a picket line.  I wish ppl would just forget about him.

Oh, we'll always talk about Harry Caray.  He has a very solid place in White Sox history. 

And he shouldn't feel "dead" to any Sox fan simply because, after nearly 40 years in the baseball broadcasting business, he was not willing to sign up for the get-rich-quick bone-headed scheme known as Sportsvision, that the then only-one-year-into-the-baseball-ownership-business Reinsdorf and Einhorn tried to get him to sign onto.  That would have been career suicide for the guy, and nothing he deserved after so many outstanding years in the business.  

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12 hours ago, Melton1972 said:

All I remember was that  after they both showed up at some baseball function, Harry lost it and had to be restrained from punching out Reindorf. I think Reinsdorf was more embarrassed than anything. I also remember Harry on the David Letterman Show. At the end of his interview Dave wanted to get a rise out him so he asked how the White Sox were doing. Harry replied sarcastically " Oh they got their new stadium"  and something else that was unflattering about the White Sox.  Dave smiled and said "oh Harry". Harry not only hated the White Sox owners he hated anything having to do with the White Sox

On the night back in September 1983, when the Sox clinched the AL West Division, marking their first return to the playoffs in 24 years since the '59 World Series, when the ecstasy of winning had enveloped Comiskey Park and White Sox Nation, in the post game interviews conducted by Hawk Harrelson, Reinsdorf took a moment on live TV to literally say that he hoped Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall were "eating their hearts out wherever they were", and that he hoped people now would "understand what SCUM they were".  

Those were the words from the Chairman on live TV on a night that should have been all about celebrating the rare occurrence known as White Sox playoff-bound baseball.  It was those exact words that would go onto fuel Harry's outrage and disdain towards Reinsdorf ever after.  It was a very classless gesture on Reinsdorf's part, and I don't blame Caray for feeling the way he did about the guy from then on out.  

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1 hour ago, zisk said:

Cubs fans got a slightly less great version of Harry than we did. When people age they become caricatures of themselves, and Harry was no different. 

 

He also became an embarrassment when he slobbering over a sexy Cubs ball girl and having her on the Tenth Inning show when she really had nothing to say. She had to be 50 years younger than him.

He was a great announcer. Caray could describe the action in a rapid fire way during his best days.  And he liked having fun even when the Sox were losing. He didn't do the Harrelson moping.

His legacy is a mixed one, but he was a powerful presence in Chicago baseball history.

 

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3 minutes ago, Fan O'Faust said:

On the night back in September 1983, when the Sox clinched the AL West Division, marking their first return to the playoffs in 24 years since the '59 World Series, when the ecstasy of winning had enveloped Comiskey Park and White Sox Nation, in the post game interviews conducted by Hawk Harrelson, Reinsdorf took a moment on live TV to literally say that he hoped Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall were "eating their hearts out wherever they were", and that he hoped people now would "understand what SCUM they were".  

Those were the words from the Chairman on live TV on a night that should have been all about celebrating the rare occurrence known as White Sox playoff-bound baseball.  It was those exact words that would go onto fuel Harry's outrage and disdain towards Reinsdorf ever after.  It was a very classless gesture on Reinsdorf's part, and I don't blame Caray for feeling the way he did about the guy from then on out.  

You are right about this. This was a major screw-up on Reinsdorf's part. That was a time for celebration, but he and also Einhorn seemed to be bitter about things. Life is too short for stuff like this. Reinsdorf should have kept his mouth shut.

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1 hour ago, NWINFan said:

You are right about this. This was a major screw-up on Reinsdorf's part. That was a time for celebration, but he and also Einhorn seemed to be bitter about things. Life is too short for stuff like this. Reinsdorf should have kept his mouth shut.

JR bad mouthed Caray and Piersall a number of times. He has also said bad things about Larry Himes, Bill Gleason and even Dick Allen. A lot of White Sox fans  always  say that JR is very loyal to his workers. That simply is not true. If he doesn't like you, you're gone from the organization.

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People seem to forget that even if Harry stayed with the sox, and if the Sox were on free tv, they weren’t going to be on wgn. Bill veeck negotiated a terrible deal on uhf stations. 

 

1984 would have happened up north and they would still be the darlings of town. Harry or not. Remember the “Sandberg  game” wasn’t even on wgn. It was game of the week on nbc. 

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On 4/30/2019 at 9:24 AM, Fan O'Faust said:

On the night back in September 1983, when the Sox clinched the AL West Division, marking their first return to the playoffs in 24 years since the '59 World Series, when the ecstasy of winning had enveloped Comiskey Park and White Sox Nation, in the post game interviews conducted by Hawk Harrelson, Reinsdorf took a moment on live TV to literally say that he hoped Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall were "eating their hearts out wherever they were", and that he hoped people now would "understand what SCUM they were".  

Those were the words from the Chairman on live TV on a night that should have been all about celebrating the rare occurrence known as White Sox playoff-bound baseball.  It was those exact words that would go onto fuel Harry's outrage and disdain towards Reinsdorf ever after.  It was a very classless gesture on Reinsdorf's part, and I don't blame Caray for feeling the way he did about the guy from then on out.  

Reinsdorf just showed everyone what scum he is when he did that.  Reinsdorf sucks. 

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On 5/2/2019 at 2:59 PM, ewokpelts said:

People seem to forget that even if Harry stayed with the sox, and if the Sox were on free tv, they weren’t going to be on wgn. Bill veeck negotiated a terrible deal on uhf stations. 

 

1984 would have happened up north and they would still be the darlings of town. Harry or not. Remember the “Sandberg  game” wasn’t even on wgn. It was game of the week on nbc. 

Bill Veeck negotiated the Sox to be on WGN - a VHF station - for the 1981 season, which was Reinsdorf’s first year as owner.  So Reinsdorf inherited the Sox with the team on WGN AND with Harry Caray in the booth.  

By 1982, the Sox were off WGN and on the ill-conceived SportsVision, AND they let Harry go to the Cubs.  In other words, in less than one year, Reinsdorf managed to perpetrate not one, not two, but THREE franchise-crippling decisions: surrendering WGN solely to the Cubs; putting Sox games on pay TV that hardly anyone bought; and letting Harry go and make the Cubs a national phenomenon with the WGN exposure. 

Harry himself said the Sox would have “owned the town” in 1983 (the year BEFORE the “Sandberg game”) If they had remained on WGN and gotten the massive exposure that went along with the games being on that station (over 30 million homes got WGN).  Instead, the games were literally hidden on SportsVision, with fewer than 17,000 homes being wired for pay TV at the time.  

So that’s what the current owner was up to back in the early days: making one sound decision after another leading to sustained success for the organization.  And by that I mean he’s spent nearly 40 years, up to and including this past offseason, doing nothing of the sort.  Too bad Harry and WGN didn’t qualify for the infamous  “loyalty program” back in those days that we talk so much about these days.  

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