WHERE'S HARRY? by Steve Stone

WHERE'S HARRY?

Steve Stone Remembers His Years with Harry Caray
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Innocuous anecdotes and remembrances abound in this valentine to the legendary sports broadcaster Harry Caray. Stone worked alongside Caray for 15 years, offering color commentary for Chicago Cubs baseball games, until Caray’s death in February 1998. Stone obviously enjoyed the experience, deferring to Caray’s antics and malapropisms the way one would an eccentric uncle or spoiled—but talented—child. Stone claims in the introduction that he wanted to give a clearer picture of Caray the man, rather than Caray the broadcaster, but the book, co-written with Rozner (a sports columnist and co-author of Ryne Sandberg’s autobiography Second to Home, not reviewed) avoids deep insight or controversy by offering sketchy biographic facts about Caray: he was born Harry Christopher Carabina, was orphaned at a young age, grew up impoverished, and had an active nightlife, three marriages, and health problems. The book’s focus is on snapshots of Caray at work and at play (often with stars, from Mickey Mantle to Elvis). The most amusing stories demonstrate Caray’s abilities as master showman and promoter in the broadcast booth (he mentioned as many fans’ names as possible in order to “make some friends and sell more tickets and get better ratings”). And while Caray-isms (such as “There’s danger here Cheri!” or “The big possum walks late”) may not be as famous as Yogi Berra-isms (although Caray is credited here with originating the “Holy Cow” cry), they do demonstrate Caray’s charm and help explain his enormous popularity. Where’s Harry? (the often-asked question Stone would get from fans), though not a definitive biography, will appeal to fans of Caray and baseball who want to relax one last time with a genuine character of the game, and perhaps hum Caray’s signature song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” after they’re done. The foreword is by Bob Costas. (photos, not seen)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-87833-233-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Taylor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1999