I got to talking with a buddy at work today who somehow mentions that Harry Caray went out 288 consecutive days back in his heyday. They knew this because they found the legend’s diary, he said.
There’s an internet to prove my friend wasn’t lying. Harry Caray drank the fuck out of 1972.
Highlights that need documented:
Jan. 16 something unusual happens. Caray is in Miami, yet there are no expenses, just one enigmatic word, “Super.”
After that break, if indeed it was, comes 288 consecutive days in bars, not only in Chicago, but New York City, and of course on the road with the Sox, beginning with spring training in Sarasota.
The unbroken streak pauses Nov. 3, when all we get is “to K City @310.” The only completely blank day is Monday, Nov. 6 — what must THAT have been like? Then off to the races again.
“I was out with Harry Caray a couple of times,” the Tribune’s Rick Kogan said. “It was always at the Pump Room. He was one of the most charming people in the world.”
“Drunk but joyful,” Kogan said. “It always wound up being a joyful, laughter-filled time.”
But give Caray credit. As old-fashioned, and perhaps even pathological, as the bar-crawling seems today, there is another truth worth mentioning: Harry Caray could have taken his drinks at home. He went out because it was his job.
“He felt the bartender and bar people were his fans,” Rittenberg said. “He felt he was responsible He would stop in 10 joints. He was just a gregarious guy.”
I think I just wish that one time in my life, I could have enjoyed beers with Harry Caray. Hell, at this point I would just like to have met someone who enjoyed a drink or two with the guy.
Some things really are just larger than life. And 288 days in a row would suffice as that. I don’t know if I could handle 10 in a row right now.