Harry Caray (Carabina) hit town in 1944 as an announcer at the St. Louis Star’s radio station, KXOK. While his strength was in sports broadcasting, which he put to good use that year doing play-by-play for the Cardinals/Browns World Series, he was a jack-of-all-trades back at the station. Caray would write his own copy, conduct news interviews, and write and present editorials on the station, and he had a regular sports talk program as well.
It was said he had sought a job at KMOX in 1943 by sending a personal letter to the home of the station’s general manager, Merle Jones, who granted him an interview and then told him to get some experience and come back.
He did his first game as a Cardinals’ announcer April 17, 1945. Years later, in 1955, Caray would be teamed in the Cardinals’ broadcast booth with Jack Buck and Joe Garagiola on KMOX, and the three were heard throughout the Midwest over the vast Cardinals’ radio network.
Harry Caray’s colorful announcing and antics endeared him to radio fans, whom Caray felt were the people to whom he was responsible. When players became perturbed at his description of their work, Caray swore he was telling it the way he saw it.
Caray’s TV career in St. Louis was mainly limited to simulcasts of Cardinals’ baseball games in which television would use the radio announcing team on telecasts. After 25 years in the St. Louis broadcast booth, Harry Caray was given his walking papers by his employer, Anheuser-Busch.
Later, in Chicago, Caray became a national celebrity anchoring the telecasts of Cubs’ games on the superstation, WGN-TV, which was beamed via satellite to cable systems all over the country. He began on WGN-TV in 1982 and proceeded to “tell it like it is” from the broadcast booth for the remainder of his career. He is a member of the National Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame and a winner of the Ford Frick Award.