Harry Predicts | Letters | Chicago Reader

Harry Predicts 

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To the editors:

You people may feel superior when making fun of Harry Carray's mistakes ["What'd He Say?" December 22], and indeed, his mistakes are often funny, but consider this: Weeks before the Cubs division race was decided, Harry was predicting that it would take 90 games to win the N.L. East. When the Cubs clinched, it was exactly their 90th win. Holy Cow! Doesn't it seem rather dim witted that someone who was watching Harry that close would miss that point?

Herbert Young

Lakeview

Richard Lalich replies:

Speaking of dim-wittedness, Harry's last name is spelled C-a-r-a-y. As I remember his prediction, it came when the Cubs had about 87 wins with a magic number of about four; so Harry hardly went out on a limb by saying the division winners would need to rack up 90 victories. In fact, Steve Stone immediately pointed out that the Cubs would be a lot happier with more than that total. They finished with 93--geez, maybe we should put Stone in the Hall of Fame too.

Let's look at Harry's prediction from another angle: Since divisional play began in 1969, only three teams have won the N.L. East with fewer than 90 wins, and the last was in 1974--15 seasons ago. So, yeah, he was right: it took the Cubs 90 wins, just as it's taken every team from 1975 to 1989. I never said he was always wrong, just that when he screws up, it's usually entertaining.

At least your misguided missive gives me the chance to pass along one Harry watcher's all-time favorite gaffe. A few years ago, Harry announced that Davey Lopes led the Cubs in runs batted in: "Lopes has more RBIs than Moreland. He's got more RBIs than Sandberg. He's got more RBIs than Lopes--Uh, hold on a minute. [Long pause.] He's tied with Lopes."

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