A Huge Loss

I sat watching the Arizona Diamondbacks final game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Before this game I would have said the Diamondbacks had completed a successful road trip having gone 7-2 so far. Some of my worst fears were being realized as Diamondbacks starter Doug Davis lasted just 1 2/3 innings. This was especially frustrating since his last start saw him take a perfect game into the seventh inning. The Manny Ramirez train continued to barrel down the tracks today with his collecting another 4 hits including his second home run in as many days. The Diamondbacks again collected 8 hits but were only able to get 3 runs out of those hits. In the end they would lose 9-3 to end the trip a respectable 7-3 but carrying a 2-game losing streak back to Chase Field. The split with the Dodgers left them in the exact same spot they were in before the series. While I was a little depressed to see the road trip and the series end like it did, I was still ok at least for a moment.

I have mentioned previously that before being a Diamondbacks fan I was a recovering Chicago Cubs fan. I grew up idolizing the lovable losers that are the Cubs. The first Major League Baseball game I ever attended was at Wrigley Field where we watched the Cubs. I was also there for what should have been the first night game in the history of Wrigley Field on August 8, 1988 but that game would be rained out and I missed it. Living in Idaho I relied on the radio and television broadcasts to keep me up to date with the team and what was happening. Their television coverage was equal parts baseball game and frat party. They were led by the one and only Harry Carey. I loved listening to Harry as he called a game. He brought baseball to the masses and made you feel like going to the ballpark and watching a game was the only thing that ever mattered. Following Harry Carey was not always a wise thing.

I remember shortly after we started having kids I was watching the Cubs game while babysitting for Trina. The girls were quite young but very interested in baseball and spending time with dad. We were planted in front of the television watching the game and listening to Harry Carey. From a very early age the kids picked up on the important parts of the game. Of course being girls they had their own ideas of what was important. They had memorized Harry Carey’s rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and would sing that at all family gatherings. If that was all they picked up from Harry we would have been fine but on this particular day they were watching perhaps a little too closely. When Trina came home they were singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and when it was over Ashley turned to Mallorie and said, “So long folks, remember I’m a Cubs Fan and a Bud Man and I hope you are too.” Trina had a startled look on her face and Mallorie looked her mom and said, “Holy Cow! We gotta go!” and the two girls took off. I had a lot of explaining to do.

When Harry Carey passed away it was a sad day around our house. We felt as though we lost a very dear friend. Before his passing, we were able to see a game featuring three generation of Carey announcers. There was of course Harry and his son Skip who was an announcer for the Atlanta Braves. Skip’s son Chip was just beginning to make his mark and shared the booth with his father and grandfather. It was a game I will never forget.

Through the years I have enjoyed listening to Skip broadcast the Atlanta games. Although not as flamboyant as his father he was nonetheless entertaining and very good. When the Braves severed their television contract with TBS, the rest of the country missed out on being able to hear Skip’s telecasts. When we got XM Radio and were able to listen to all of the baseball games it was especially gratifying to find Skip on the airways again.

Today word came out that Skip Carey passed away. He was feeling rather tired and went to take a nap. He never awoke fading away peacefully in his sleep. His family, friends, and fans are devastated at his loss and everyone wishes they could hear just one more of his telecasts. But rather than sorrow we should be comforted by the fact that right now there is a joyous reunion of father and son. After getting caught up with all that has happened I can only imagine that the two of them will be headed to a ballpark to watch the game that they love.

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