Chips Ahoy

Chip Caray is a third generation baseball broadcaster. His grandfather Harry, his father Skip are legends and soon Chip will be one, too. On May 13, 1991 all 3 Carays broadcasted a game together. Another claim to fame for the youngest Caray is that he graduated from the University of Georgia. He talks about his time in Athens and a whole lot more in this interview.

Dave McMahon -- This has been an up and down year for the Braves...

Chip Caray -- Well, in the past the Braves hallmark has been their dominance and depth of their starting pitchers. This year overall, their pitching has been a disappointment. John Smoltz has been the only starter that has been consistantly good this year. Others have had a good start, then a bad start, then good, then bad and you can't have that. Earl Weaver used to say momentum is good as tomorrow's starting pitcher.

DM -- They have a lot of young talent, so the future looks good, doesn't it?

CC -- They are very good. Not only are they good, but many of them are home grown, meaning the Braves drafted them. They have had games where 7 or 8 of the 9 players in their lineup were home grown. Not only are they home grown, but they are "really home grown." Many of them are from Georgia or the southeast. I think part of the reason why so many kids from Georgia are being drafted is the success the Braves had in the 90's through today. Many kids enjoyed the success and wanted to be baseball players, too.

DM -- You are a 3rd generation broadcaster, if you didn't do this, what would you be doing?

CC -- I always wanted to be a baseball player. I grew up in St. Louis and my favorite player was Ted Simmons. I really wasn't a good player. I guess the next best thing to be was to do something my family did. My maternal grandfather was a dentist, so I kind of wanted to go to medical school, but I didn't want to owe money for the rest of my life. I really enjoyed baseball and I was good in describing what I saw. My parents were divorced, but I would visit my dad during summers and I got to watch what he did. I also helped the broadcasting team by being a runner or even pulling cables. I got to learn how the broadcast worked and I thought that would be something good to do.

DM -- You have 3 children, has there ever been a 4th generation broadcasting family?

CC -- Not that I know of.

DM -- Did you got to meet a lot of players as a kid?

CC -- When I was a kid I got to be the Braves bat boy. I got to hang out with some of the players. I would play catch with Phil Niekro, Gary Matthews and Jerry Royster. Al Hrabosky used to kid me a lot because there were many nights where my dad and the players would be at the hotel bar, but I would in the next room playing video games and pinball.

DM -- People have imitated your father and grandfather, has anyone imitated you yet?

CC -- I have never heard one, but I would consider it a compliment. I guess it is a part of the business.

DM -- You broadcasted a game with your father and grandfather in Chicago... what was that like?

CC -- It was back in 1991 in Chicago. It was a great opportunity.

DM -- After you graduated, you did some NBA games, too... describe the differences when you broadcast different kinds of sports...

CC -- I haven't done too much football so I don't know about that game. Although I would like to do more. Basketball is a great game to do a TV broadcast. It is timed, it has a lot back-n-forth action. You have time to set up matchups and trends. Baseball is easy if you understand the game. Baseball is so great because you never know who is going to be the hero of the game.

DM -- You graduated in 1987... what non-sport memories do you have here?

CC -- There are so many good memories. Georgia really opened my eyes to a whole new culture. I was from Missouri and I was the only person from my high school to come here. I remember spring days walking by the english building and the Tate Center. I remember going to 5 points or to the Varsity. I liked going to the 40 Watt Club and seeing R.E.M. or Guadalcanal Diary.

DM -- What about classes?

CC -- I liked my journalism classes. Bill Martin was my radio-tv-film professor. He was a great mentor as well as Al Wise who filmed a lot of the football games. The professor I remembered the most was Dr. Bill Lee. The "B" I received in Communication Law from him meant more to me than the "A's" I got in other classes. He challenged you everyday. He really make you work.

DM -- Did you work while you were in school?

CC -- I worked at WUOG for awhile, then I worked for WNGC. I didn't work a whole lot while I was there.

DM -- Any games do you remember when you were a student at Georgia?

CC -- Lots of them. I loved going to football games. My favorite one was the Clemson game where Kevin Butler kicked the game-winner. My future wife was a Clemson cheerleader at the time and she was very upset about that game. I also loved going down to Jacksonville for the Florida game. Georgia went 2-2 vs the Gators in the years I was there. I really hope we start beating them again. I still follow Georgia football religously.

DM -- Do you ever come back to games?

CC -- I haven't been to one in about 5 years or so. I am hoping to come to again real soon. It is hard because our seasons have been ending real late and in the off-season I live in Orlando. But I want to get to one.

DM -- What is the greatest game you have ever broadcasted?

CC -- I would say it was the Kerry Wood 20 strikeout game. It was also a one-hitter, but it should have been a no-hitter. It was one of his first career starts, but with his 96-97 mph fastball and with his slider breaking 2 1/2 feet, he was unstoppable. It was the best thing and the worst thing that he did. The best because it put him on the map, but it was bad because people expect him to do that every time now.

DM -- Thank you very much for your time and answers and lets hope there are many more great games ahead.

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