Father-son baseball play-by-play broadcasters Chip and Chris Caray cherish reunion in Oakland

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Chip Caray vowed to do his best not to cry.

Not that anybody would blame the St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster if he did.

On Monday night in Oakland, Chip reunited with son Chris on the field before each headed up to the booth to handle play-by-play duties for their respective clubs. Chris is in his first season with the Athletics sharing duties with Jenny Cavnar, and this marked his fourth game.

“I’m the old guy now and I remember when I was 24 and I got my first chance to do this and my dad was in the other booth on the radio side in Atlanta,” said Chip, grandson of the late, longtime Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray and son of Skip Caray, who worked more than three decades as a voice of the Braves.

“And it’s very different having the torch being passed instead of being passed to you. I’m really excited and humbled and honored that Chris is here. He’s doing a great job already and I’m really excited about where he’s going to take this family business as we call it.”

The 24-year-old Chris and twin brother Stefan worked together in the booth for the Amarillo Sod Poodles the past two years calling games of the Diamondbacks’ Double-A affiliate. They gained valuable experience at that level and during time at the Arizona Fall League.

“Trying to separate ourselves while finding a sound while trying to be this cohesive unit in the booth in Amarillo the last two years, we had to find a way to separate ourselves and make ourselves sound different from each other,” Chris said. “Yes, we sound very similar but I didn’t want to sound just like him, I didn’t want to sound just like Skip, I didn’t want to sound just like my brother Stefan. And I wanted to be able to do the good things, take the really good things that he’s done and spin them in my own way. It’s gotten me here, and I’m so lucky.”

Chip’s wife and Chris’ mother, Susan, was at the Coliseum for the special moment Monday. As soon as Chris was hired by NBC Sports California in February, they looked at the schedule to see whether the Cardinals and A’s would play in interleague this year, and here they are in mid-April.

It worked out beautifully that Monday’s series opener marked Chris’ turn in the booth given Cavnar handled the first homestand and will take the bulk of the team’s road games.

“We had it circled but at the same time immediately we didn’t know what my schedule was going to be,” Chris said. “We had assumptions that they would do it especially being here at the Coliseum and I was told I would be doing most of the home games while Jenny would be doing games on the road but you just never know how it would have shaken out. I’m grateful and fortunate enough that they picked this series to be my fourth game. I can’t really even put it into words to tell you the truth.”

The proud father is thrilled they each embrace doing their jobs with a unique flair and style.

“It’s a personality-driven business. The biggest mistake he could make is to try to be Harry Caray or Skip Caray or, God forbid, Chip. He’s got to be himself, right?” Chip Caray said. “There’s certain things that come along with the DNA that are inescapable. I’m sure that he sounds a little bit like me and maybe he gets excited like I do during the calls, but ultimately he’s going to put his own stamp on it, which is how you have to do it.

“It frustrated me to no end when kids would send me tapes, ‘Hey, can you evaluate my tape’ and they’d come from the West Coast and they’re all trying to sound like Vin Scully. Don’t, just be the best version of you. And I’m really proud that he and his brother have done that.”

Chip Caray joked that the only thing wrong was seeing his son in A’s green.

“We’re flattered and honored,” he said. “It’s amazing that the family business has continued since 1945 and the fact that he’s 24. I was 24 when I got my start, too, and the fact that we’re able to do this game together in his first two weeks as a major league broadcaster is astounding and exciting. I’m going to try not to cry during the game. I hope I’m not crying after the game, because I want us to win.”

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

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