Monday, August 4, 2008

RIP, Skip

Longtime Braves broadcaster Skip Caray has passed away.

People often talk about how a particular album or band provided the "soundtrack to their lives." For me, the voice of Caray (along with that of Larry Munson) was about as close as I would come to having a familiar sound guide me through the years. We moved back to Georgia in the mid 70s, and I remember going to bed at night, being able to pick up the radio broadcasts of Braves west coast games. Shortly thereafter, when we got cable, the best thing about it was being able to watch the Braves, in all their early ineptitude, every single night. Skip, along with Ernie Johnson and Pete Van Wieren (and later, Joe Simpson and Don Sutton) were a welcome presence in our home every evening, even as Ted Turner managed the team for a night (!) and Pascual Perez made endless loops around I-285. Skip called 'em as he saw 'em, and brought a wry levity to games the home team could just never seem win. I was as gratified for Skip and the gang as I was the long-suffering fans when the Braves embarked on their historic run of postseason participation in the 90s, because you could feel the emotional investment in the team that had been there since the first time we turned on "Channel 17." When you were out and away from the tube, it was always gratifying to turn on the radio and hear that familiar voice telling you how the boys were doing.

With changes in the marketplace, and TBS's shift to sitcom repeats, you couldn't catch Skip on Braves broadcasts anymore. But when I moved up here, I got the MLB Extra Innings package to follow the games, and frequently listened in my car on XM Radio. Not too long ago I was all alone, driving around in a strange town, and hearing Skip lament the latest one-run loss made me feel more at "home."

So long, Skip. You'll be missed.

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