Play By Play Family-Style
Cubs legend Harry Caray's grandson is a Chip off the old block.
It might be! It
could be! No, it undoubtedly is a great opportunity for third generation
broadcaster Chip Caray to be doing the play by play for Cubs baseball
games. Oh sure, the father of three young children travels more in
the summer months than Patrick Ewing in the low post, but when you
do Cubs games for a living you never have to worry about working in
the month of October. When Chip took the job he knew he'd be saying,
"Ladies and gentlemen, the Cubs are the World Series Champions,"
about the same time the publisher of Good Housekeeping says, "I'm
happy to announce that Mike Tyson is our Man of the Year." John
Rocker will be Grand Marshall of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
before the Cubs have a World Series parade. But unlike the Cubs players,
Chip gets to experience postseason baseball as an announcer with Fox,
so all in all he has what he considers the greatest gig in broadcasting
"I am lucky, because with the Cubs playing most of their games
in the afternoon during home stands, it means I am home at night to
be with my kids and my wife," Caray said from his Pittsburgh
hotel room. "I get to tuck them in bed, and be there in the morning
with them to eat breakfast and start their day. The actual burden
is on my wife, who is the real rock of the family. Thanks to her we
can function pretty normally."
Chip has grown up in broadcasting, his father Skip is the play by
play announcer for the Atlanta Braves and of course his grandfather
Harry is an American icon and Chicago legend. Chip learned many valuable
lessons that would prepare him as a broadcaster from both his father
and grandfather, but one of the biggest personal ones that stuck in
his mind came outside of the broadcast booth. He experienced first
hand the effect a divorce can have on children. Chip's parents divorced
when he was a young child, and he did not have much of a relationship
with his father until he was a teenager.
"I did not want my kids to have the same fate as I did growing
up, because I really never saw much of my father until I was 12 or
13 years old. It's almost two opposite extremes, when you compare
my childhood to the environment we are raising our kids in."
When you're a Caray, and you live in Chicago, you have more people
that want to buy you a beer and have a picture taken with you than
Anna Kournikova. I don't know if Chip even owns a tennis racket, but
he probably has a better chance of winning the U.S. Open, too. That
celebrity spotlight comes with the territory, and only shines when
Chip is at work. A significant aspect of Chip's parenting philosophy
is to make his family life as uncomplicated as possible. For instance,
he doesn't bring a goody bag of gifts back for his kids from every
city he visits.
"I try not to do that. I want my return to our house to be a
present enough. Seeing my kids and having them see me after a week
away is enough. I don't want them associating seeing me with a present."
Unlike Rick Rockwell or Allen Dershawitz, being on television is not
considered a big deal in the Caray household.
"We try not to make a big deal of the fact that I'm on television.
The fact that I'm on t.v. does not make me more or less important
than anybody else. I am no different than any other father. When I
am home, I am Dad. I'm no better or worse than any other father, it
just so happens I'm in the limelight a little more."
Some things never change, like the Cubs being out of the pennant chase
by the All Star break. But some things do. While Chip's grandfather
may have been a Bud Man, Chip seems perfectly content being a family
is a television sportscaster for Fox and a free-lance writer in
Boston. He has a two-and-a-half year old daughter named Brooke.
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