Monday marks the 15th anniversary of the passing of legendary Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray, who somehow became bigger in death than he was living a very large life.
Everyone seems to do a bad Harry Caray imitation these days, including Clippers’ star Blake Griffin, who appeared to be doing Will Ferrell’s Caray imitation in an interview after a recent game.
Caray’s fans get together once a year around the anniversary of his death, and this year the restaurant he once owned will hold its annual Toast to Harry on Feb. 28 at the Harry Caray’s Tavern at Navy Pier. Ernie Banks, Dutchie Caray, Billy Corgan and Tom Ricketts will lead the toast at 5:30 p.m., and a fireworks show over the lake will begin after 6 p.m.
According to a press release, those who attend will receive special hologram glasses that will turn the fireworks into thousands of images of Caray’s face.
The restaurant claims over 5 million fans have raised a toast to Caray on the annual tribute day, and that Caray once estimated he drank over 300,000 alcoholic beverages in his life. That’s an average of 301 drinks per month over his 83 years, an impressive feat for someone that lived that long.
This year’s toast will have another surprise visual. They’re bringing back Oscar-winning special effects director Michael Lantieri, who blew up the so-called “Bartman ball” on the night of the 2004 toast to change the team’s “karma.”
Harry Caray remains larger than life, 15 years after death
Chicago Tribune | Feb 18