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IMPORTANT: Harry Caray once spent 288 straight days in bars

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

As we all suspected, Harry Caray knew a thing or two about having a good time. (USATSI)
As we all suspected, Harry Caray knew a thing or two about having a good time. (USATSI)

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The late and legendary broadcaster Harry Caray knew that a fedora is properly worn with a tilt and that -- if you listen closely and are pure of heart -- there's a dancefloor in every steakhouse. As all of us have long known, he also knew a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to drinking this, our alcohol.

On this multitudinous point, it so happens that during 1972 Monsieur Caray kept what can be called a "drinking diary" or, alternatively, a "user's guide to The Good Life." Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times -- one of my favorite newspaper writers, living or departed -- came to lay eyes and mitts upon this diary. His Monday column details what he found therein. Abandon all your obligations and go read it posthaste.

Among Steinberg's findings is that in '72, Harry Caray spent pretty much every leisured moment in a bar. In fact, he spent 288 straight days in some bar or another, in some city or another. He then went on to spend 354 out of 357 days in drinking establishments. This is at once characteristic and remarkably remarkable.

So what did he do on the handful of days in which he did not catalogue his intake of wholesome, nutritious alcohol and precise whereabouts? Take it away, Neil Steinberg ...

Jan. 16 something unusual happens. Caray is in Miami, yet there are no expenses, just one enigmatic word, “Super.”

The sentence you just absorbed is one of the most evocative ever in the entire sprawling history of written dispatches. Whatever happened during the course of that night was so amazing that it had no name. It still has no name, except in ancient cave etchings. The suspicion is that when Mr. Caray finally returned home to his haunts, all of Miami -- the physical city itself, not the people -- was left reposed, contented, pregnant.

Harry Caray, Baseball Man. Harry Caray, Cavalier Buccaneer. Harry Caray, Liver Whisperer.

Refrain: Read this now.

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