Chip Caray is an American television broadcaster known for his work with the Atlanta Braves and now working with the St. Louis Cardinals. Chip shares valuable insights from his broadcasting career, succeeding his father and grandfather in the same industry. He reflects on the lessons he has learned while on the road with baseball teams. He talks about his 27 ‘seasons’ with his wife, the importance of having his support system back at home, and the challenges and sacrifices of his job.
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Brett Gilliland: Welcome to The Circle of Success. I’m your host, Brett Gilliland, and today I’ve got Chip Carey with me. Chip, how you doing?
Chip Caray: I’m doing great, Brett. How are you?
Brett Gilliland: I’m good man. It’s good to be with you. You are, uh, the new voice of the St. Louis Cardinals. We’re well, a new, we’re a couple. We’re about a month and a half in now, right?
Chip Caray: Well, the newness hasn’t worn off. I’m still the new guy, so, uh…
Brett Gilliland: That’s right.
Chip Caray: It’s been a wonderful experience and, uh, really a dream come true growing up here and never imagining this opportunity would take place. Uh, it’s been quite a whirlwind last several, four or five months, but hey, that’s the life we’ve chosen and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So offering…
Brett Gilliland: That’s right. Well, I’m sure you’re, I’m, I’m sure you’re glad that we’re talking now eight days, uh, later than say seven days ago. Cause what, what are we, seven of the last date? Some victories here for the Cardinals.
Chip Caray: Yeah, it’s a lot more fun when you win. Uh, it’s been a topsy turvy season, but that’s the nature of the game.
Uh, we say it all the time. You play 1 62 for a reason.
Brett Gilliland: Right.
Chip Caray: …and I, today’s world, everybody gets caught up in the instantaneous results of one off game doesn’t determine how a guy’s gonna play or a pitcher’s gonna pitch, or a team’s gonna perform over the course of 1 62. But, uh, yeah, that was a very good week last week and, uh, good start to the series against the Brewers. Hopefully we can put 20 on ’em tonight.
Brett Gilliland: I think what we were, yeah. Say what was it 20 last night?
Chip Caray: It was 18.
Brett Gilliland: Was 18. Okay. That’s what I thought. I turned…
Chip Caray: just increased by 10% every game. You feel really good about your chances.
Brett Gilliland: I like it. I like, I like our odds.
Chip Caray: Yeah.
Brett Gilliland: I like our odds. That’s good. Well, if you can, I always start all my podcast Chip with, you know, kind of what’s made you the man you are today. And, and obviously people know your story and, and know who you are, but I think it’s important to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Right? And so if you could kinda share a little bit of the background story. What’s made you the man you are today?
Chip Caray: I guess experience, uh, you know, the old saying it takes a village is really true. I wouldn’t be in professional broadcasting where it not for my dad and my grandfather. I didn’t know Harry very well, uh, didn’t really spend a lot of time with my dad until I was almost in college. My parents were divorced. I remember him leaving when I was a five year old. And, um, you know, he pulled out of the driveway and I said to my mom, where’s dad going?
Cuz it was the off season for him. And she said, he’s going on a long road trip. That’s how he, she kinda explains. Uh, they’re split. Uh, my wife obviously, uh, we have four children and she’s had to be mother and father for six, seven months a year for the 27 years we’ve been married. Uh, allowing me to fulfill my dream and go out and talk about baseball and provide for our family, obviously.
Uh, she’s certainly a rock. My kids are certainly an inspiration for me. It’s the best thing I ever did is having four children. I have a 25 year old daughter. Identical twin, 23 year old sons who are broadcasters in Amarillo, Texas for the Sod Poodles and a 14 year old as well. So at 58, I’ve been blessed.
Uh, but as far as experience goes, um, you know, I learned a lot from my dad and father and what not to be as much as what to be. And I think that’s a really important lesson for anybody. Uh mm-hmm. You know, Harry didn’t really value family, didn’t understand that until much later in his life. Uh, my dad didn’t take care of himself as well as he would have, and in the latter stages of his life that came back to haunt him.
Um, but the, you know, the less lessons of life that they taught me. Tell the truth. Be yourself, be honest, and, uh, show up at work every day talking about a game in a sport you love. That’s gonna carry you a long way. And if you’ll pardon the pun, that’s exactly what’s happened.
Brett Gilliland: We’ve had a hell of a career, man. I just to name a few, I didn’t know this until I was doing my research, but you were with the Mariners. Uh, but even before that, you were with the Orlando Magic from 89 to 98. I’m trying to think, was that Shaquille O’Neal time?
Chip Caray: Yeah. Well that was even before that, or 89 was their expansion year. I was 24 years old. And, uh, to my point earlier about, uh, uh, it takes a village, a man named Bob Neil knew, knew my dad, and knew of me and saw Pat Williams, who was the general manager and the man responsible for getting the expansion team in Orlando.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah.
Chip Caray: And he talked to Pat at the All Star game from Houston, Texas that year, and Pat said, Bob Neil, Hey, we’re looking for an announcer.
And Bob said, well, I think Chip Caray would be a perfect choice for you. If Pat said, skip Carey would want to come to our games. And Bob said, no, no, no, no. Not Skip it’s Chip. And Pat, who had worked with my grandfather and knew my dad, said quote, oh God, there’s another one. Uh, so at the age of 24, I was hired as an expansion announcer for the Orlando Magic.
Uh, the team won 15 games. I was worse than the team. I had no idea what I was getting into. I kind of did the Bob Costas route when he took the spirits of St. Louis job. He told Rudy Marsy, oh yeah, I’ve done a lot of college. I a lot of college basketball, a lot of pro basketball, have all kinds of experience.
I didn’t know sports, basketball, but I had great partners and a great, uh, support staff. And there’s nothing better as a young announcer than starting with the team from the ground up because you grow together.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah.
Chip Caray: And to your point, yeah, they drafted Shaq, they drafted Penny Hardaway, got really, really good.
Didn’t win an NBA title, but I had seven great years in Orlando. Met my wife there and, um, you know, Lived there for 20 plus years until we moved, uh, to St. Augustine, Florida, where we live now. And a lot of fond memories of Orlando for us.
Brett Gilliland: St. Augustine, I think, is that the oldest town in the country.
Chip Caray: Oldest city in America. Don’t let the pilgrims fool you. Uh, our city founded 1565. That was 40 years before, uh, Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims in Jamestown and all of that stuff. And it truly is a magical place. My wife went to Flagler College there, uh, close. Brief history lesson. Henry Flagler was John Rockefeller’s business partner.
He was the railroad guy, and he built a railroad from Jacksonville, Florida all the way to Key West Florida, built it himself. And I think he spent, spent 200 billion in 18 hundreds money, and it was all his, that’s how wealthy he was in the Gilded Age of America. And it’s a, it’s really a fabulous, fabulous place to watch.
Brett Gilliland: That’s crazy. Have you watched a, How I Built This. Have you ever seen that on like…
Chip Caray: Yep.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, isn’t that amazing?
Chip Caray: Yeah, there’s a, there’s a, um, a, a, a great book called Last Train of Paradise that talks about how the, the railroad was built. Uh, Henry Flagler founded the city of Miami. He built the Breakers in Palm Beach by himself.
He built the railroad all the way down to Key West of the hotel, Casta Marina. Is, it was his residence down there. And, uh, just the, the, the, the trials and tribulations of what people went through in surviving the hurricanes and all of that. It’s truly a, a wonderful read, but it’s a beautiful park of paradise and that’s probably where they’ll, they’ll plant me in six feet under hopefully three or four years.
Brett Gilliland: That’s right.
Chip Caray: Really, really fortunate. Blessed to live there for sure.
Brett Gilliland: Well, I, uh, I originally, I met you down with Brad Thompson down in Florida there in the booth at Spring training and, uh, It’s funny, I, I stayed at a different hotel, but I was, I went to the Breakers and uh, I actually got online there.
I’m like, oh, I’ll stay at the Breakers. You know, it’s a nice little place. I’m close and didn’t realize it was gonna be about 4,000 a night for a normal hotel room. So hopefully that guy’s still getting some residual income off that.
Chip Caray: It’s only money. You can’t take it with you. They don’t build a box big enough. But yeah…
Brett Gilliland: That’s right.
Chip Caray: It’s a remarkable place and it’s a remarkable part of the world. And, um, you know, as, as great as that is, uh, coming back to St. Louis and, uh, rekindling all the friendships and, and familial relationships and revisiting all the places that I haunted as a kid and teenager and col uh, high school student has really been one of the most rewarding parts of this job.
And, uh, to be welcomed back so warmly by so many, uh, Mostly because of the works of my dad and grandfather is, uh, really, really a special thing. It’s not lost on. Life’s good. It’s really good.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, it’s great. So tell us a little bit if you can, I mean, how did this go down? I mean, do you get a phone call from somebody and they say…
Chip Caray: I did.
Brett Gilliland: Hey man, we want you to Yeah.
Chip Caray: Yeah. I was under contract in Atlanta and, uh, my, my standard line with that has been fully intended to retire as a member of the, of the Valley family in Atlanta. I’ve been there 20 years and made it very clear that I wanted to stay there. I just got harder and harder to keep trying to stay there. Um, that said, uh, when Dan McLaughlin’s situation arose, and that’s certainly a tragic thing, um, they called and asked if I would have an interest.
Mike Claiborne called me and said, Hey, I’m just calling cuz I’m doing some reconnaissance here. And I said, of course, I, I’ll talk to anybody. You know, my, my standard line has truly been, I don’t talk about someone else’s job until they don’t have it anymore. And no one could have planned what happened.
Happening. Um, and so as great as this chance has been for me, I wanna be clear, I’m very sad about that on a lot of different, uh, levels with Dan. He’s a friend and, and, and praying for, for his return in recovery. Uh, but that said, they called me, uh, a week or so before Christmas and said, Hey, we’d like to talk to you.
Um, obviously Christmas and New Year’s took place. I flew up to St. Louis, I think the second week of January. Came in here on a Friday morning, interviewed with the Cardinals, interviewed with the ballet people. Uh, they said they’d get back to me soon. I think there was another candidate or two that they wanted to talk to.
And, uh, Monday morning at 10 o’clock in St. Augustine, while I was on my morning walk, I got a call from, uh, Larry Mago at Valley Midwest who said, Hey, what’s it gonna take for us to bring you to St. Louis? And I said, Well, do you need more interviews? He said, no, no, no. You’re misunderstanding what I’m saying.
Do you want the job? I said, uh, yeah, I think I do. So that’s, that’s kinda how it took place, uh, a week before Christmas. And then, uh, three weeks later, um, they offered me the position and, uh, and here we are.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. So talk about opening day this year. I, I was down there. It was incredible. Um, obviously we don’t need to worry about the end result of the game, but just the day, the pomp and circumstances with that talk, talk to us about that. I mean, being with the Mariners, being with the Cubs, the Braves. I mean, do you witness anything like that anywhere else?
Chip Caray: No. Uh, it’s different here, obviously. Um, You know, growing up in St. Louis, I was born and raised here, 1965. Went to Parkway West High School, was born at St. Mary’s Hospital, right over by the old checkered Dome in the old arena.
Um, I’d never been to an opening day even as a fan, and I don’t believe that in my years during the Cubs we ever played opening day against the Cardinals. If we did, it’s because the synapses aren’t firing. But I don’t remember it. Uh, my wife flew in, uh, and was asking me what to expect, and all I said to her is, it’s gonna be unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
You’re gonna see the Hall of Famers, you’re gonna see the current players come out. You’re gonna see the Clydesdales , and I’m telling you, honey, when you see the Clydesdales, they’re gonna give a standing ovation to the horses. And she said, come on. And I said, just watch. So she was up there filming and she’s putting all that stuff out on Facebook.
Even she was completely and totally blown away. And look, when you’re from here, the Cardinals are a civic trust. They’re a civic institution. And the remarkable job the Dewitt family has done in preserving that here is something that can’t go unnoticed. Um, the people that work for the Cardinals understand the role they play in this community.
We all who sit in our chairs understand how important the job is. We have a love affair with the team. And for me it was a, a transition that wasn’t easy, but it was made easier because growing up here I understood that. Um, I understood how important, uh, the Cardinals are to civic pride and what they mean to the city and how intensely the fans follow and how much they love their favorite players.
And seeing those old guys come around in the convertibles. My guy was Ted Simmons. Uh, I couldn’t help but get a little emotional about watching him switch hit with the long, flowing hair. I wore 23 and Little League because Ted Simmons was my guy.
Brett Gilliland: Wow.
Chip Caray: And in the Cardinals Hall of Fame and singing him there on opening day was, uh, was obviously one of the highlights for me, and I know for the fans as well.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. It’s just, it really is incredible to watch all those guys that come out and they come back, the, the red jackets, they’re just, they’re amazing. So, um, talk about the grind for you. You know, you, obviously, people see you now and you’ve had all these years, but you know, you weren’t just this guy who was on TV and, and, and Callin’ baseball games.
There’s certain part of that, right? You go to high school, you go to college, and then you get on the grind. What was that like? Because, and just to let everybody know too, you have a fourth generation. Starting the grind right now. Right. So you have Harry, you got your dad. You got you. And now your twin boys are, uh, the, the scary Sod Poodles, right?
Chip Caray: That’s right. The Sod Poodles down in Amarillo, Texas. Uh, they’re in Frisco, Texas today. Uh, you know, the grind is the grind. I mean, it’s part of the job, you know, it’s like a…. you know, we have a great job and it’s, it’s a different job. We’re enter, we’re into entertainment, right? Our job is to be a conduit between the team and the fans and try to explain what’s going on so that they have a better and fuller understanding of appreciation for what takes place on the field.
Um, it is a grind. It’s the hardest grind in sports. It’s 162 games and about a hundred eighty four, a hundred eighty five days. Um, you know, we’re in a stretch now of 17 straight games without a day off. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re out there trying to perform and do that every day when you factor in the travel and the time zone changes and all of the, uh, media attention that this club gets, that’s, that’s, that’s a big part of it.
But I’m one of those old school kind of guys that, um, you know, I, I. It’s what we chose to do. I, I’m a 1 62 guy. You start, uh, your season, uh, April 1st you say goodbye to your family. You give your wife a hug and a kiss, and you say, Hey, I love you, but my, my mistress is calling. I’ve got…[inaudible] and then I’ll come back.
Um, I just think that’s part of the ebb and flow of, of how we do it. In fact, my wife and I joke, we haven’t been married 27 years, we’ve been married 27 seasons, and I think that’s kind a look into the, you know, behind the curtain as to how a lot of us think our life is truly a. Um, one that, uh, follows the ebbs and flows of the season.
There’s baseball season, then there’s off season. And being able to meld those things and try to make the best of the circumstances, uh, being shall we say imprisoned by the schedule is a real challenge. But you can’t do without a great partner. I’ve got the best one in the world and, uh, I’m grateful that, uh, she’s allowed me to do that.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah, so a lot of business leaders listen to this podcast and I think. That, that support system, I mean,
touch on that a bit more. I mean, how crucial is that, whether you’re doing what you do, 162 games a year or what I do as a business leader? Like how important is that stuff?
Chip Caray: Hugely important. Um, you know, I, I, I’ll, I’ll speak personally.
My wife said to me, uh, right before the season started when she saw how, um, relieved I was, for lack of a better way of putting it, to see how, um, excited I was again, re-energized. I was again, she said, you know, I’m really excited about our career for the first time in 20 years. That means a lot, means a lot.
Um, you know, because there’s a great deal of guilt that I have, and I’m sure a lot of my colleagues have it too. Again, I have four children. Uh, I’m off covering a baseball team and sting at the Ritz Carlton with the club. And my children are home with the flu and she’s up all night with a sick kid. I can’t, yeah, I can’t.
That or the car breaks down or, you know, you’ve got a roof leak. All those things that normal, normal careers allow you to deal with. Yeah, we can’t because I have to be where I want to go. Um, you know, my daughter was born in 1997 in November, and uh, my grandfather passed away. I went to Chicago to work with, uh, the Cubs.
And I remember at the front door, they sent a car for me to take me to the airport to go start my job. And I’m bawling, bawling. And my wife said, don’t worry, I’ll bring her to you. There’s a great deal of guilt that I have because, uh, my kids are again in their twenties and 14 and I’ve missed half of their life because we don’t live where I work.
And that’s a family decision for married reasons. But I, you know, I haven’t seen any of my kids take their first step. I haven’t seen my kids say their first words in many cases because I’m gone. And it’s not that I want to be, it’s that I have to be to provide. Uh, for my family, the way that I can. So, uh, yes, having that support system at home is, uh, hugely important.
There were ups and downs. There were a lot of challenges. Certainly they have to understand that. Again, as I said, I don’t want to go, but I have to. Um, and if you don’t have a, a, a. A supporting partner who understands that to do the job right, they have to take second place sometimes it makes it a real, real challenge.
And fortunately for me, over the last decade or so, that hasn’t been the case.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Well, hats off to her tip of the cap to your wife, cuz that, uh, takes a special person. But let, let’s talk about the, um, You know, again, business side, you got goal planning, you got just different goals you wanna have. Like what, what’s that like for you as a, as an announcer?
Because you can’t go out and hit the baseball, you can’t go out and pitch the baseball, but what, what goals do you have? If there is such a thing, what, what does that planning look like for you? And then what, what does a year look like for you? Like what’s a goal for Chip Caray for 2023?
Chip Caray: Well, I’ll start with the microeconomics. Part of it is, number one, I think our job is to inform and entertain. Uh, we are on TV for two and a half or three hours a day, and our job is to make sure the fans, as I said, understand what the heck’s going on. Uh, with the ball club, uh, as honestly and as fairly as we possibly can. As you said, there was a stretch of eight games where the cardinals look terrible.
There’s no sugarcoating that. And luckily in this town, fans don’t want to be, uh, shall we say, have the bull pull over their eyes if they’re playing bad, say so. In a lot of markets and places where I’ve worked, that’s not always the case. Uh, when they play well, like they are now, I think that honesty.
Allows us to be even more excited and more overjoyed because we’ve been honest about when things weren’t going well. Yes, so inform and entertain, first of all. Secondly, be prepared. Uh, you have to prepare yourself physically and mentally that hey, it’s a grind. And get through this week, get through the road trip, get through the first month, the second month, because it truly is a long, long season, as I said, 183 days and 162 games, and that doesn’t count spring training. Or the [inaudible], we all, fingers crossed, hope the Cardinals make, uh, you just have to prepare yourself that you’re going to be gone for a while. I, again, I don’t live in St. Louis year round. My family’s back in Florida, so I have to move all my stuff up. And then when the season’s over and move all my stuff back, and then when I come back home, I have to do the laundry the way my wife was doing it, not the way that I, cause I come in and eventually screw everything up.
Uh, it’s just, it’s just a constant adjustment. It’s just a constant, uh, shall we say, um, you know, battle of, you know, being there and being present as much as you can. Thankfully we have technology that allows us to do that. But understanding that, uh, you know, the job is what the job is. And this is unfortunately part of it. You can’t be there full time.
Brett Gilliland: Well, and for you, it’s tough. I would assume. I’ve talked to other guys about this, you gotta be on, right. Even if you got the sniffles or you’re not feeling well or whatever.
Chip Caray: Yeah. Yep.
Brett Gilliland: People don’t care. Right. They gotta hear you and they wanna hear your enthusiasm.
Chip Caray: Well, it’s like a, it’s like a player in the, in a major league game.
If they’ve got a hamstring pull and they’re in the lineup, but they’re good enough to play or good enough to be in the lineup, they’re good enough to play. Right. And a lot of that stuff is kept from strategic reasons, which I understand. Uh, but yeah, I’ve done games with strep throat, I’ve done games with pneumonia.
I’ve done games with a horrible cough. Uh, I’ve done games where, um, you know, I, I think I had food poisoning a couple of times, but yeah, that’s the job. And if we don’t work, we don’t get paid. So there’s obviously a financial incentive. Yeah, sorry. Power your way through those things. Um, but that’s just the nature of the job.
You know, you, you find a way to power through. You find a way to, to get it done, and. If at the end of the day it’s three hours that you’re not a hundred percent, just give whatever your a hundred percent is that day. And I think people respect that.
Brett Gilliland: Let’s talk about the pitch clock. How, uh, how, how big of a game changer was this?
Chip Caray: Huge. I think it’s the biggest thing that we’ve seen in the game since they lowered the mound after 1968. Uh, baseball’s basically just trimmed a lot of the fat out of the game. The, the scratching and spitting and walkup music and all the silliness that, uh, all of us who love the game allowed to invade the sport.
It’s gone. We had a two hour and 30 minute game last night. Uh, selfishly I get paid the same if it’s an hour game or a five hour game. So I’m all for the, uh, you know, two and a half hour, uh, affairs.
Brett Gilliland: But on a 19 run game, right? I mean, think about that. Yeah.
Chip Caray: Yeah. That’s the other part of it. I mean, we’re seeing, we’re still seeing good baseball.
We’re, I mean, yeah, there’s a lot of strikeouts still, but by and large, the game itself hasn’t changed. We’ve just gotten a rid of a lot of the garbage that caused people to look at their cell phones instead of looking at the field. And I think if you notice the center field camera, People don’t watching their phones, they’re paying attention to the game.
And I think that’s response resonated very well with fans. So I applaud baseball for trying this, and I applaud players too for uh, uh, by and large not having any problems with it.
Brett Gilliland: So for those Cardinals fans, that’re listening, they’re like, yeah, they’re kind of, you know, Cardinal fans get mad pretty quickly, but they also rebound pretty quickly in, in my opinion, living here for 22 years. Talk to us though about the importance of the World Baseball Classic, uh, the pitch clock, you know, a new catcher, all those things. How did that play into that first, you know, month of baseball That really wasn’t good Cardinal baseball? Do you think there’s a, do you think there’s a thing there?
Chip Caray: Maybe? I think there’s, you know, there’s a lot of newness here. New coaching staff, a lot of new coaches. Uh, new catcher, obviously that’s a hugely important position for 20 years fans in St. Louis. The pitching staff especially, never had to shake off guy here, Molina. Right. You know, he’s throw a fastball, I’m throwing a fast ball. So there’s a learning curve there. Uh, you know, uh, miles, Michaels and Hennes Cabrera and Gallegos and Wayne Wright weren’t here.
Uh, they were off with their WBC teams. That slowed the learning curve, as it were. But I think, uh, and I say dis respectfully, and the Cardinal fans have been spoiled in a great way. I mean, it, whole generation of generat, 15 year olds that have never seen this team have a losing years. So this was a shock to the system, the way that they played.
It certainly shocked me. It shocked the players as well. But I love what Ali said. Ali Marmel said, uh, look, we put ourselves in this hole. It’s our job to dig ourselves out of it. And I think the Cardinals feel confident that they can do that. There’s six and a half games. There’s six, I think six and a half games outta first place, despite being eight or nine games under 500.
Don’t look at the record. Look at where you are on the standings. I think this club is certainly capable of rattling off. I’ll run like we’re on now more than once in getting back to the top of the division where I think if you look at the talent level, Cardinals do have the best team now it’s up to them to show it.
Brett Gilliland: Yep. Yeah, it’s funny, it must have put something on TikTok about that 16 or 17 year old. My 17 year old said, dad, did you know this is the worst St. Louis Cardinal team in my lifetime so far. Yeah. Well it’s crazy. We’ve been very lucky. Yes, exactly.
Chip Caray: It’s, there were some lean years in Chicago, but uh, you know, that’s part of it.
It it truly is character building. And, uh, you know, Mike Claiborne has said he doesn’t start to worry about or think about what the team is or isn’t until flag day. That’s the second week in June. That’s a little late flag, but usually it’s the 54 game mark. A third of the way through the season, you really, really have your fingers on the pulse of what your team is and isn’t.
And that’s when the discussion start, not just with your club, but the other club’s about mixing and matching and making moves to, to improve your fortunes. And I’m confident the Cardinals are gonna do that.
Brett Gilliland: Talk to us about a typical No, go ahead.
Chip Caray: I gotta put some power on my iPad. Hang on a second.
Brett Gilliland: All right, sounds good. All right.
Chip Caray: I feel like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite Technology. Okay. Plug that bad boy in. Sorry about that.
Brett Gilliland: No, you’re good. Not a problem at all.
Chip Caray: Okay. We got power again. Sorry.
Brett Gilliland: All right. Um, so next question. What was my next question? Was, uh oh, A typical day. What’s a typical day like for, uh, people like you in, in your job?
Chip Caray: Yeah. At home I get up, uh, obviously I get up early, get coffee, uh, check out all the newspapers, all the websites, read the opposing teams newspaper, read our newspapers, get the clips.
Read through those. Uh, try to watch the MLB network, look at the highlights, if there’s anything spectacular that comes on. We have a, uh, a great statistician named Dan Hyatt who sends us some really cool and obscure stuff that’s much more interesting to me than just, Hey, he’s got two home runs or a five game hitting streak, and how to incorporate that stuff.
Um, really what it is, is, as you said earlier, it’s kind of like cramming for a test. Uh, you have all this study material and we get a ream of notes about that thick every single day. I mean, it’s hundreds of pages of. Of statistical information that I, you, you can’t get through it all. And I think our job went through that and pick out the nugget or two that we will probably talk about.
The great thing about our job is that nobody at home will know what we wanted to get to and didn’t, uh, because you’ve got three games or four games to, to try to get that stuff in. Um, but then, then you go do the game and ultimately the game is gonna dictate what you talk about. Uh, we do our, we do our, uh, open, we have a production meeting in the booth about three 30 or four o’clock after we talk to the manager and try to formulate some ideas of things we want to talk about during the game and what we talk about and our, our, our standup, which is kind of our theme for what we hope to see or what we’re predicting might happen game.
But obviously if it doesn’t happen, we’re not wrong. We talk about why it didn’t happen. Uh, last night or the gate, first game against the Brewers is a perfect example. How would Contreras and Flaherty work? That was our subject matter. It was great. Uh, would Aaron auto keep hitting? He did. Uh, heck, the whole team, uh, uh, started hitting again.
So it did, uh, that, that’s kind of game that sort of does the impossible it makes us look really, really smart. But, uh, that’s, that’s kind of, that’s kind of what we do. The game ends come back and, uh, try to unwind and watch the highlights and look at the other games on the West Coast, and then go to bed and do it again.
And I think that’s, that’s, that’s really the, the, the, the lesson I would say is it, We’re, we try to be boring pros. Routine is really important to all of us. We have our own routines. We do it the same way every single day because to vere from that routine is really uncomfortable and leads to problems because, um, you know, we’re, we’re truly type A driven, um, uh, keep it simple, stupid, boring pros and, uh, uh, that’s I think what makes the guys at sit these chairs really successful, at least in my family.
Brett Gilliland: Well, I think, again, to keep tying it back to business, but I talk about consistently boring, and then I talk about preparation, you know, and, and that’s what I’m hearing from you, right? Be consistently boring. Yeah. And be prepared. Right? I got this much stuff and
Chip Caray: Right. Yeah. And, and by, by boring I don’t mean you just drone on ball.
No, we’re, we’re excited. We’re fans when they play bad. I think you’ve heard that in my voice in some of these games. There goes another home run, like, oh, you know, crap, here we go again. Or if a guy has a big night, you know, we, we get excited, but it’s knowing what to say and when to say it. Uh, yeah. And what more importantly on tv, what not to say we’re all guilty of talking way too much.
I know I am. Uh, but it’s just the nature of the excitement of the job and loving to talk about our sport. But you’re right, uh, you’re boring in your preparation. Hopefully you’re not boring in your presentation, and at least you walk in prepared for any eventuality because cameras break, audio goes out, guys get hurt.
You know, hail storms hit all kinds of crazy stuff. You just have to expect the unexpected and be prepared for that. Yeah. And uh, hold on, hold on for the roller coaster ride and see it takes you.
Brett Gilliland: How good is Brad Thompson?
Chip Caray: Awesome. Great. Funny, wonderfully witty, quick dry wit. Uh, eminently prepared. I’m really happy for him.
He’s so excited about this opportunity to do more games. Um, yeah, and Jim, I’m have been awesome partners. They’re both great friends. I’m really lucky that wherever I’ve worked, I’ve had phenomenal teammates and I think the thing that characterized my experience in Atlanta was, um, these aren’t my coworkers.
These are my family. Uh, we actually spend more time with our broadcast booth and we do our, our children and our, our spouses. And if you don’t have that good relationship, it’s, it makes for a long, long year. And not just on the TV side. Ricky Horton, John Rooney, Mike Claiborne, Jim Jackson on the radio side is an incredibly welcoming and we do stuff together on the road.
We go to dinner, we’d go. Walks. I mean, uh, it really has been seamless from that standpoint. And so having that kind of a support system for all of us, not just them for me, but me to them, I think has been one of the best parts of the first six weeks of the season.
Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Yeah. Again, business wise, right? The team, the team matters. Who you surround yourself with matters. And if you’re surrounded by some bums, you’re gonna be a bum, right? But you’re around Great guys.
Chip Caray: Try to soar with the Eagles. Right?
Brett Gilliland: Right. Exactly.
Chip Caray: Even I don’t, I don’t, I think part of my job is I try to make people better and I hope they make me better too. Um, you know, we all have accountability partners in our, in our, in our jobs.
And if I, if I screw something up, I’m not too proud to say, Hey, I messed that up. I did that last night. I, I got Jack Flaherty strikeout, uh, season high strikeout thing, thing wrong. I said, eight was a season high. It would’ve been eight walks. Uh, I said, excuse me, that’s wrong. Theirs his nine, that’s his career high.
Pride is a pride’s a dangerous thing, right? And it’s okay to make mistakes when you don’t correct them. As I found out personally and professionally, that leads to most of the problems. So if you make a mistake, admit it, move on. People will, I think, appreciate the fact that, uh, you at least were prepared enough to know that and man enough to admit it.
Brett Gilliland: So you’ve had the front row for amazing, uh, sports moments in your career. So name, can you talk through some of those favorite ones that, uh, stick out the most for you?
Chip Caray: Well, the one that, that jumps out first, I, I’m sorry, Cardinal’s fans is Carrie Woods’s 20 Strikeout game. Uh, that was like, six weeks into my major league career with the Cubs.
Brett Gilliland: Wow.
Chip Caray: Uh, all Harry Carey, uh, in his booth with his partner, his crew, his city, all that stuff, and he strikes out 20 Astros. That was, that was certainly his coming out party as a, uh, Cubs player. He is an announcer in a big market. People were like, wow, this guy has a pretty good idea of what he’s doing. And that was, that was, uh, that was a big moment.
Um, you know, for me, for people who follow baseball and like Bill James games score, um, he’s, he has postulated that that is the most dominant pitching performance in the history of Major League Baseball. And for me it was like my 30th game with Cubs. So.
Brett Gilliland: Wow.
Chip Caray: That was, that was really cool. Uh, my first NBA game, obviously at 24 years old, I was the youngest guy in the league and, uh, we were doing an exhibition game against the Detroit Pistons, the Bad Boys, and Lamber and Dumars and Rotman.
Oh yeah. All those guys. Uh, to do that at 24 and, and begin my, um, you know, my, my climb up the ladder was, was great. Um, doing a game with my dad and grandfather in Wrigley Field in Chicago 32 years ago, almost, uh, to the day. Uh, something that I’ll never forget, may not happen again. And now watching my boys grow and flourish and start their way in this crazy business is really, really exciting.
And they’re super talented and it’s only gonna be a matter of time, I think, before someone gives them a chance at their young age like they gave me. And, you know, when that happens, uh, for them and for my 14 year old. Um, you know, I, he wants to do it too, so, uh, we’re tougher to kill in Covid, man. You can’t get rid of it.
Uh, but I’m really, really proud of all of those things and as I said, you know, my marriage to my wife and, and her family and the support system I’ve been received, I’m really a humble person.
Brett Gilliland: I love it. Last, last couple questions here is, I know you gotta get rolling into the stadium. So, um, when you, when you see these players, like in Anato or Carrie Wood, in the 98 season, we got 20 strikeouts.
These, these players are at this next level, right? These MVP type players. Do you, do you notice something different in them when you’re, cuz you, you get to rub elbows with them all day, every day. Like what, what do you see that’s different from people like that than maybe just your normal guy on the team?
Chip Caray: Drive. Consistency. Expectation of excellence. Uh, they hold themselves to an incredibly high standard. Uh, they’re accountable. Uh, you know, the guys that are really, really good in the game are the ones who, if they have a good day, they deflect the praise to others. If they have a really, if they have a bad day or the team moves as they say, they find a way to say, well, if I had been better, we would’ve been better.
Uh, that’s the essence of leadership. I think for me. Um, you know, we’re the, we’re the face on TV of hundreds of people. Who, if they don’t do their job well, we can’t possibly look good. And as I said before, sometimes things happen that are out of your control. It’s our job to cover for that. And, and hopely, the audience doesn’t notice it.
The same with superstar players. You know, they’re the guys that, that are paid for a reason. They’re the guys that are the faces of their club, but they’re also the guys that are the first to invent Erdos. Perfect example of that for the Cardinals, the first six weeks of the season, he said, I’m not playing well and until I do, this is gonna be a struggle for all of us.
And I know I’m not right, but I’m gonna get there. And fortunately for us, uh, who follow baseball, there’s a thing called a bubblegum card. And on the back there are a whole bunch of statistics that give you hope that these guys are going to be within five, 10% of those numbers by the end of the year.
That’s why they’re stars. They’re consistent, they’re accountable, they deflect praise, they accept the criticism, and they hold themselves to a very high standard and try to surpass it each and every day. They get here and they try to beat it. And beat it again and beat it again the next day. That’s what makes him great.
Brett Gilliland: Phenomenal. So, final question here for you is, um, if you could go back and tell the 40 year old chip Carey, give him, give that guy some advice, what advice would you have for you?
Chip Caray: Wow. Uh, what advice would I have? I would say enjoy the ride. More. Um, I think I, I like all of us in this business.
We’re so in such a hurry to get to where we want to go, that we don’t enjoy the highs and lows that that naturally take place. You know, it’s the old saying, process over outcome. Uh, that comes with maturity. And I, that’s, that’s still a struggle for me. It’s a struggle for my son because they want to get to the major leagues and I, I tell them all the time, Hey, enjoy the joy.
Stupid stuff that happens in AA because those will be the funny things you talk about when you’re Correct. Cause it’s the shared experience, right? Um, but the 40 year old, I think I would, um, I would enjoy. Um, I would enjoy seeing my kids be more. I would enjoy, you know, being around my family more.
I wouldn’t obsess and worry about things as much. Uh, some of that was the environment from which I came that made that difficult to do. But, you know, the old saying, stop and smell the roses is really, really one that’s worth repeating because at the end of the day, I’d rather be remembered as a good husband and father and a great friend than it would be for a guy that said Ball two as well as anybody else in the business.
That’s the stuff that really matters and I’ve learned that my grandfather never did. My dad did certainly, but wasn’t in a position to do it. And I hope that I can do a better job than the two of them and passing that along to the rest of my family. And as I said, the patience of job that my wife has and Susan is the reason why.
Uh, I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate those things a whole lot more, a baseball game.
Brett Gilliland: That’s awesome. Well, thanks so much for being with us, man. It’s been awesome having you on the Circuit of success. Hang with me here when I hit end, but uh, it’s been great having you Chip.
Chip Caray: My pleasure, anytime. We’ll see you soon.