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'I have to pinch myself': Chip Caray talks about taking over in Cardinals' TV booth

Caray talked with our Frank Cusumano about getting his dream job, joining the list of legendary Cardinals broadcasters and his friendship with Dan McLaughlin.

ST. LOUIS — Once again, a Caray will be calling Cardinals baseball.

Bally Sports Midwest and the St. Louis Cardinals officially announced the hiring of TV broadcaster Chip Caray earlier this week.

5 On Your Side's Frank Cusumano chatted with the new TV voice of the Cardinals about getting the job of a lifetime for the St. Louis native and grandson of legendary Cardinals and Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray.

"I have to pinch myself. I can't believe it's really happening. This is a dream come true. 32 years ago I was offered this job and couldn't take it for a myriad of reasons, and made my way to Seattle and Chicago and back to Atlanta where I got to work with my dad. But to come home and follow and cover the team that I fell in love with the sport within the first place is remarkable," Caray said. 

"St. Louis runs in my blood. I was born and raised there, went to high school there, my mom still lives out in Franklin County. The old saying 'You can leave St. Louis but you can't take St. Louis out of the guy.' I always felt comfortable coming back to Busch Stadium and seeing pictures of my grandfather, and Jack Buck and Dizzy Dean... It just felt like home and it was meant to be," he said.

Caray, a Parkway West High School grad, returns home after stints in Seattle, Chicago and most recently, Atlanta.

But calling Cardinals games was always the pinnacle.

"My mom used to buy me batteries for my birthday and Christmas because I'd wear out the AM transistor radio listening to the Cardinals on KMOX," Caray said of listening to Cardinals games growing up.

"It's the gold standard job in the game. Best fans in baseball. Baseball heaven. Tremendous teams year after year and a tradition of excellence in the broadcast booth. And that's what's so humbling to me, when you think about the guys who sat in that chair... Danny Mac, Joe Buck, Jack Buck, Joe Garagiola, Jay Randolph, Ron Jacober, my grandfather... to even be thought of as being in that exclusive fraternity, is really humbling and exciting."

Caray takes over on Bally Sports Midwest for Dan McLaughlin, who was recently let go following a DWI charge as a "persistent offender" in December.

Caray and McLaughlin have a long relationship, and the new Cardinals broadcaster offered his support to the former.

"Dan is one of my dearest friends. We talked to each other almost every day during the COVID season. We have so much alike. We're both St. Louis natives, we both have four kids, we both love baseball, we both love what we do, we both work very hard at what we do and try to do everything we can for the fans. And as excited as I am for this opportunity for me personally, and that sounds selfish, the circumstances under which this opportunity came about are awful. I feel terrible for Dan, but I know he's going to be ok," he said.

"Dan is too good a person, too good a husband, father, member of the community... he's done so much for charity and has been a fantastic ambassador for the Cardinals. There's not a doubt in my mind that Dan McLaughlin is gonna be back. I'm going to do everything I can to help him in that regard, and when that happens I can't wait to give that guy a great big hug, because he deserves it," Caray said.

While he may be Harry's grandson and Skip's son, Chip has made his own name in the business and has learned that above all, it's essential to just be yourself.

"There's never going to be another Harry Caray, or Jack Buck or Joe Garagiola. You've got to do it yourself. This is a personality-driven business and you've got to be yourself," Caray said.

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