9/1 A toast to Harry
Dutchie Caray, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and Hall of Famer Ernie Banks raised a bottle of beer in a toast to legendary broadcaster Harry Caray, whose statue was moved near the Wrigley Field bleachers and rededicated on Wednesday.
The bronze was relocated to the corner of Sheffield and Waveland streets near the entrance to the bleachers, where he used to do broadcasts during the summer. A statue of Hall of Fame outfielder Billy Williams will be installed at Addison and Sheffield streets, where Caray’s statue was.
“I was a little sad at first,” Dutchie Caray said of the move, “but I’m happy with the outcome.”
She said Harry, who passed away in February 1998, was never content to stay in one place anyways.
“He had to be where the action is,” Dutchie Caray said.
“It’s fitting that as a Cubs fan, a Bud man and a bleacher fan that Harry will be here for years to come to welcome fans to the bleachers,” Ricketts said.
Oversized black glasses — one of Caray’s trademarks — were distributed to Cubs officials and fans. Bleacher fans attending Wednesday’s Cubs game against the Pirates received a Harry Caray mask. Caray joined the Cubs broadcast team following the 1981 season and continued his White Sox practice of leading the home crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. Caray was presented the Ford C. Frick award and enshrined into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1989.
“As fans, we know he’s one of us,” Ricketts said.
After a toast with one of Caray’s favorite beverages, Dutchie led the fans gathered on the corner at Sheffield and Waveland in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
– Carrie Muskat