Originally Posted by Nellie_Fox
I think everyone is filtering Harry and Jimmy through the mists of time. And they were only together for, what, four or five years? Harry for ten or eleven? If they had hung around as long as Hawk, a lot of people would have been tired of them too. How many times did you have to hear Harry plugging some restaurant or bar he frequented in order to continue getting comped in all these places while not paying any attention to the play on the field? And slamming back the "ice-cold Falstaffs" until he was slurring his words by late in the game? With Harry, it was much more about the "Mayor of Rush Street" stuff than it was about the White Sox.
Yeah, I enjoyed aspects of it, but a lot of the bitching about Hawk has been about wanting a "professional announcer." Harry and Jimmy were a lot of things, but a focused on the game, professional duo they weren't.
Maybe the "mists of time" have affected us in different ways. First of all times have changed, many things Harry said on the air like "plugging a restaurant" would be unacceptable today. Announcers were more free to be independent and show some personality on the air. Today announcers like Ian Eagle are the standard of excellence. Second Harry's drinking was the stuff of legend, spawning many rumors about his personal life. This went back all the way to his St. Louis days, in fact one of those rumors concerned why he left the Cardinals in the first place. Despite it all Harry was one of the best baseball announcers I ever heard. He did all the things an announcer should do and more. You knew the count, the score, the game situation and interesting anecdotes as they pertained to the action. Whatever his alcohol consumption in the booth or the bleachers he still kept up with the game. When Harry went to the north side they tamed the beast within him and then he had a stroke in 1987. It was all downhill after that. FWIW my three favorite baseball announcers of all time are in order, Mel Allen, Harry Caray and Bob Prince. I wish I could turn on my TV or radio and hear those guys do it one more time. The modern day guys and gals are so woeful.