Chip Caray, the voice of the Braves on TV for the last 13 years, is leaving for the Cardinals. What will that mean for Braves fans going forward?
For 47 years, there has been a Caray in the booth calling Braves games. In 1976, the peerless Skip Caray started a stint announcing for the Braves that would last until his death. Skip lent his voice to two of the most famous calls in Braves history – The Slide and the final out of the 1995 World Series – and by the time of his passing in 2008, he had been casting Braves games for 32 years, including a couple of years alongside his son, Chip.
Chip then carried the Caray torch, broadcasting Braves games alongside Joe Simpson and Jeff Francoeur. He also had some memorable moments behind the mic. Chip did a wonderful job of bringing the hype where needed – his call of Jason Heyward’s first home run as a Brave in his first career at-bat was an iconic example.
He wasn’t afraid to have fun, too. His genuine and hilarious reaction to the Travis D’Arnaud HBP last year showed how comfortable he was behind the mic:
And, of course, he got to experience a World Series win here in Atlanta. While he didn’t call the game, his intro to the postgame coverage of the clinching Game Six is as great a call as any he made in the broadcast booth.
Now, 13 years later, with Chip leaving for his hometown of St. Louis, there will be a Caray-shaped hole in the broadcast booth. The Braves play-by-play job will be a coveted one – one of the biggest fanbases in baseball, America’s Team – who might be in the running?
Ben Ingram is seen by many as the most likely candidate to land the job. Ingram has worked with the Braves since 2011 in various roles on Braves radio and has served as the regular play-by-play man alongside Joe Simpson since 2019. He is a fan favourite and has cemented his position as such with some excellent calls recently – most memorably, the call he made at the end of the three-game set against the Mets to clinch the NL East last year. This would almost definitely be a slam-dunk hire with the fanbase.
Of course, the Braves might look outside the organisation for a fresh voice. Boog Sciambi is the current play-by-play broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs (and MLB The Show), but has some Braves history – he was a Braves announcer from 2007-2009. Friend of the Bat Flips & Nerds podcast, Boog is very well regarded and has worked nationwide radio broadcasts for ESPN, where he’s slated to call the World Series in 2023. As a recent hire to be the Cubs’ full-time play-by-play man, he might be a little more willing to make the hop over for a long-term contract – and would be another well-established, safe pair of hands for the Braves.
Tom Hart would be a rogue choice but is definitely one to watch. Long-time fans will remember him as the field reporter for the Braves from 2011-2014, and he has spent the time since with the SEC Network, where he calls college football, baseball and basketball games – and does a great job of it. Recently, he’s also done some work for ESPN calling some MLB games – but doesn’t have the experience as the guy for an MLB team. As such, he might also command a smaller paycheck – which might be important, given the network’s financial troubles.
Whoever it is, the next person to take the job will have some big shoes to fill. The Braves have been blessed with some great broadcasters over the years, and the first non-Caray to lead the booth for almost half a century will face the pressure of a big fanbase at a time when the Braves are likely to be contending for a World Series for years to come. Best of luck!
Featured image of Chip Caray by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Article by Charlie Deeks. You can follow him on Twitter @Omashaft
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