For years and years and years, saying that I was a Chicago Cub fan would get me a collective sigh from those around. And saying those words would also get plenty to say: "I'm sorry", "Are those guys ever gonna win?" and "Oh, you like the Lovable Losers." And I'd always tell the people who spoke such, that my Cubbies would win someday, and that I'd be a fan for life. But I'm not gonna lie, there were times that I did almost jump ship and not look back. These times weren't when the bums South of Roosevelt Rd. won their championship a few years back. And now, in a time that gives Cub fans around the world such excitement and anticipation for the rest of the Summer to play out, I must do two things:
1. Apologize to all the faithful whom have always believed that "this year, is gonna be our year." And to those who've never thought of changing their hearts for any other team. And to the one who used to watch day baseball every day from her living room in Joliet as she told me that the Cubs would win it all someday. And when that day did come, I was to celebrate for her, because she knew that she wouldn't be around to see it. (We'll get it for ya' Grandma.)
2. Have all Cubs fans to declare openly, and proudly, that we, the people, whom bleed Cubbie blue and cry Old Style tears, will stand by our Cubbies through thick and thin, through good times and bad, and wait patiently for the celebration to begin. And when it does, we the people, are to scream from the bar tops of Wrigley with uncontainable glory, and cry with happiness as the 27th out is made during game seven of the World Series and to drink until we can't possibly consume one more drop of beer five days after the season has ended. And when the celebration is done, to go and visit, with plenty of more cold beer of course, our good friend who rests at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Because if it wasn't for our old pal Harry, we would have never believed so long that the Cubbies were gonna win it someday. And we would have never heard him confuse players names like "Jim Sandberg", "Ryne Sanderson" or "Scott Sundberg", like he did during the '87 season when Ryne Sandberg, Jim Sundberg and Scott Sanderson were all proudly on the roster. Nor would we have ever heard the man, who loved unusual names, try to pronounce names backwards.
Harry, this one's for you, bud.
10. “You know they're not going to lose 162 consecutive games.”
And, well, Harry was right. Sure, the club he joined after the 1984 season, the year the Cubs had only won 38 games, had a lot of work to do to improve, but he knew it wouldn't get worse than that year.
9. "Aw, how could he (Jorge Orta) lose the ball in the sun, he's from Mexico."
Never known to be very P.C. when broadcasting, Harry told it how it was. If somebody would make comments like he used to on the radio today, they would probably be the last thing that person ever said on the air. Imagine: "And here comes the grounds crew out to cover the field with the tarp, we'll be under delay now. And, ya know Len, I'm glad these guys are getting onto the field now, laying the tarp. I mean, after they realized that they couldn't cut it as players, at least they can get on the field this way and help them to live up to their dream."
8. "I've only been doing this fifty-four years. With a little experience, I might get better."
From '45-'69, Caray called games for the St. Louis Cardinals, spent one year with the Oakland Athletics, 16-years with the White Sox and 15 with the Cubs. He also called games for Missouri Tigers football, St. Louis University-Billiken basketball, the Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks Basketball teams and three Cotton Bowls. Yeah Harry, you could of used just a bit more practice.
7. "Oh, I get a little tired now and then, but knowing my lifestyle, that's only natural."
Harry was 83-years old when he left us. But not for a minute, did he ever let his age take
issue with his love for a good time. If it was sipping cold ones in the booth, or stripping down
to his shorts to beat the heat, Harry was always there to give us, the fans, everything he could.
6. "They (Expos fans) discovered 'boo' is pronounced the same in French as it is in English."
He was always a joker. He looked at baseball, and he saw a game. It was something that
people could go out to enjoy and have a good time. It wasn't anything more to him.
5. "This has been the remarkable thing about the fans in Chicago, they keep drawing an average of a million-three a year, and, when the season's over and they've won their usual seventy-one games, you feel that those fans deserve a medal."
He was always so worried if the fans were having a good time or not. If the stands had 1,386 people sitting in 'em, drinking piss warm beer and eating hot dogs with ketchup and his Cubs were leading 17-2 or the place was packed, all the beer consumed and not a single dog left in the place and we were losing 10-3, as long as the fans were having a good time, Harry was happy.
4. "I figure I had no business being here this long anyway, so what do you care how old I am? I've been on borrowed time for years. You know my old saying: live it up, the meter's running. I've always said that if you don't have fun while you're here, then it's your fault. You only get to do this once."
Maybe just the best bit of advice anybody could give, and or, receive.
3. "Booze, broads, and bullshit. If you got all that, what else do you need?"
-Booze? With all the bars around the Friendly Confines, booze is taken care of.
-Broads? Have you seen the competition that the Sun-Times is holding to decide which team has the best looking female fans? Broads are taken care of as well.
-Bullshit? It's been 100 long and tiring years with morons running the team, from both the field and the front offices. We got plenty of bullshit.
2. "When I die, I hope they don't cremate me 'cuz I'll burn forever.”
Sadly, in a restaurant in Palm Springs, enjoying a meal with his wife Dutchie for Valentine's Day,
Harry had a heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital but never regained consciousness and died four days later.
1. "I knew the profanity used up and down my street would not go over the air...So I trained myself to say 'Holy Cow' instead.”
If this were truly the case, which I'm sure it was, Harry would have swore alot. It seemed that every time he spoke, there was at least one "Holy Cow" in every phrase.