Day baseball, hot dogs, a cool drink, and the 7th inning stretch are all the beloved traditions at Wrigley Field. And for many, Harry Caray was the epitome of the Wrigley Field experience. Fans honor him each year on his passing in a tribute known as the “Worldwide Toast to Harry Caray.”
The 24th anniversary of Caray’s passing is a celebration. The Toast to Harry is an event where fans can celebrate his extraordinary life. Each year a collection of people find a cozy spot at the bar and raise a glass to toast to him.
Caray started his career at the age of 19. He spent his early years doing play-by-play for the St. Louis Hawks professional basketball team (now Atlanta Hawks) and the University of Missouri football team.
Caray’s big break came in St. Louis, covering the Cardinals from 1945 to 1969 where he amassed a national following. Chicago became his permanent home in 1971 when he became the voice of the Chicago White Sox.
It was at Comiskey Park, where (then owner) Bill Veck heard Caray singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ during the 7th inning stretch. Veck, noticed people singing with Caray and decided to put a public address microphone in the booth and turned it on during the stretch and the rest is history.
Caray held his post with the White Sox until 1981 when he jumped to the North Side of town and became the voice of his beloved Cubbies. It was in Wrigleyville where Caray became a legend in Chicago. His “tell-it-like-it-is” style of broadcasting and his rendition of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ was synonymous with the bleacher bums of the 1980s and an era of Cubs baseball that saw winning baseball for the first time since the 1960s.
This year, proceeds from sales of all Budweiser and Bud Light from all Harry Caray’s locations benefit the World Central Kitchen to help provide fresh meals to displaced Ukrainians. It’s done so in the spirit of giving as Caray himself grew up as an orphan and throughout his life raised money to support children in need.
To learn more about the event and find a Harry Caray location nearest you, click here.
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