Harry Caray, born Harry Christopher Carabina, (March 1, 1914 – February 18, 1998) was an American baseball broadcaster on radio and television. He covered four Major League Baseball teams, beginning with a long tenure calling the games of the St. Louis Cardinals, then the Oakland Athletics (for one year) and the Chicago White Sox (for eleven years), before ending his career as the announcer for the Chicago Cubs.
Caray was born Harry Christopher Carabina of Italian and Romanian parentage in one of the poorest sections of St. Louis. He was an infant when his father died. His Romanian mother, Daisy Argint, remarried, but after her death when Caray was just eight, he went to live with his aunt Doxie at 1909 LaSalle Street in a tough, working-class section of St. Louis. As a young man, Caray played baseball at the semi-pro level for a short time before auditioning for a radio job at the age of 19. He then spent a few years learning the trade at radio stations in Joliet, Illinois and Kalamazoo, Michigan. Caray did play-by-play for the St. Louis Hawks professional basketball team (now the Atlanta Hawks), the University of Missouri football team and he announced three Cotton Bowl games.
Caray caught his break when he landed the job with the Cardinals in 1945 and, according to several histories of the franchise, proved as expert at selling the sponsor's beer as he'd been in selling the Cardinals on KMOX. (Caray and broadcast partner Gabby Street also called games for the St. Louis Browns in 1945-46.) Caray was also seen as influential enough that he could affect team personnel moves; Cardinals historian Peter Golenbock (in The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns) has suggested Caray may have had a partial hand in the maneuvering that led to the exit of general manager Bing Devine, the man who had assembled the team that won the 1964 World Series, and of field manager Johnny Keane, whose rumored successor, Leo Durocher (the succession didn't pan out), was believed to have been supported by Caray for the job. Caray, however, stated in his autobiography that he liked Johnny Keane as a manager, and didn't want to be involved in Keane's dismissal. As the Cardinals' announcer, Caray broadcast three World Series (1964, 1967, and 1968) on NBC. In November 1968 Caray was nearly killed after being struck by an automobile while crossing a street in St. Louis; he suffered two broken legs in the accident, but recuperated in time to return to the broadcast booth for the start of the 1969 season.