HOLY COW! by Harry Caray


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Gabby, innocuous autobiography of the dean of sportscasters. Caray--nÇ Carabina--has excelled at play-by-play baseball broadcasting for 45 years, most logged with his hometown St. Louis Cardinals and, later, with the Chicago White Sox and Cubs. It's no surprise, then, that Caray's story--written with the help of Chicago Tribune sports columnist Verdi (coauthor, McMahon!, 1986)--reads like the soundtrack of a major-league broadcast: an incessant stream of folksy but semibland chatter, banter, asides, and trivia. Caray opens with his 1986 stroke, which inspires him to some ruminating ("I've always believed that if you live your life as a decent person, the umpire in the end will say you did it right") that sets up the rest of the book as subtle testimony to his own decency. From the anecdote-packed, wisdom-salted yarns about his boyhood love for the Cardinals to those of his meteoric rise as a national sports celeb, there's only rudimentary self-analysis here ("I. . .wasn't the world's greatest husband"), a lot of back-patting ("Gussie Busch is just a hell of a guy"), and little revelatory detail about the ballplayers and others whom Caray has met during his long career. Fortunately, the many cameos, although superficial, do entertain--from Caray's trading drinks anonymously with gangster Frank Costello at the Copa to his twice sharing a broadcast booth with Ronald Reagan. There's a curious chapter tossed in, too, about a tour of Harlem nightspots in the early 60's, and, of course, there's plenty of baseball talk: why Stan Musial is the best player Caray ever saw, what's wrong with astroturf, why Bill Veeck was "a brilliant man," etc. Mildly amusing patter that raises no fusses and will be of interest primarily to Caray fans.

ISBN: 394-57418-4
Publisher: Villard
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