And the only reason we’re limiting it to 1972 is because that’s what we have documented. In Harry Caray’s own diary, in which he kept a record of his bar visits and in which he tucked his receipts. All of that was reported in wonderful detail by Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday. The interviews and anecdotes with some of his drinking companions make the story.
The reason Caray kept the record appears to be tied up in his business arrangements with the White Sox, for whom he worked at the time. His compensation was tied to attendance at Comiskey Park and thus going out, glad-handing and getting people to come to White Sox games was a business expense for the man. If you want to take those deductions, you gotta keep your receipts, right? That’s the sober, er, I mean prudent thing to do.
Of course, it’s entirely possible — I’d say probable — that Caray would’ve been out in heavy rotation like this even if he wasn’t doing so for business reasons. Word on the street has it that, on occasion, Caray liked to have a drink or two.