CHICAGO — Although he’s been gone since 1998, Harry Caray’s legacy for the Chicago Cubs isn’t easily forgotten.
Baseball fans gathered at Caray’s restaurant on Navy Pier for an annual celebration of his life after Caray passed away on this date 25 years ago, and with it being the 25th anniversary of his death, fans decided to make a special tribute to Caray, influenced by Chicago’s mayoral election.
“In 1980, Mayor [Jane] Byrne was the mayor and she said, ‘okay Harry, you’re the mayor of Rush Street and I’m the mayor of this city,” said Grant DePorter, CEO of Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group.
So, an election party was held at Caray’s restaurant Wednesday where fans toasted ‘The Mayor of Rush Street.’
“We ended up getting 150 countries around the world toasting Harry,” DePorter said. “We set a Guinness World Record, we’ve had five million people toast [Caray].”
Among the crowd who gathered to toast Caray on Navy Pier was former White Sox slugger Ron Kittle, who remembers Caray fondly from his days when he called games for the South Siders.
“I’m one of the few in here that knew Harry Caray when he was with the White Sox,” Kittle said. “I was a young kid at the time … He bought me my first dinner in the Major Leagues.”
Opening Day for the Cubs takes place Thursday at Wrigley, with first pitch set for 1:20 p.m. CT, while the home opener for the White Sox is set for Monday, April 3 against the San Francisco Giants, with a 3:10 p.m. time start time.