Ah, Harry Caray, the fuzzy, warm, drunken late Cubs announcer. Beloved by millions, brilliantly impersonated by Will Ferrell, immortalized in bronze outside Wrigley Field. How do you not love Harry Caray?
Well, according to a new autobiography from longtime announcer Milo Hamilton, there was plenty of reason not to like Harry. In fact, he says, he was a real dick.
Hamilton's relationship with Caray and [then-Tribune Broadcasting president Jim] Dowdle reached its low point at the start of the 1982 season, when [Hamilton] was hospitalized with a recurrence of leukemia. Dowdle visited him at Northwestern Memorial, "almost as if he was dropping in to see if I was really that ill, if perhaps I was faking it," Hamilton writes. "I could sense that from his body language. Can you imagine anyone being that inconsiderate?"
Caray's response to his illness, Hamilton says, was to say on the air that he never had missed any games and he "couldn't understand how a guy can take time off during the season." Later, he boasted to a reporter that he never had missed an inning in his career, "unlike some other broadcasters I know."
Hamilton goes on to trash Caray for 4,000 words in one chapter, saying that he turned the entire Cubs organization against him. If you'll forgive a Cardinals fan an easy joke, we thought the only way you could turn the Cubs organization against you was impersonating a World Series trophy.
Book it: Hamilton Still Harried By Caray [Chicago Sun-Times]