Many players in Friday night's game between the Lexington Legends and Rome Braves no doubt grew up dreaming of playing in the big leagues. Perhaps with Harry Caray or his son Skip calling the play-by-play.
There haven't been any ”Holy cows!“ coming from the Applebee's Park press box this series, but the Caray voice is unmistakable.
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Meet Josh Caray, in his second season as play-by-play man for the Rome Braves.
Legends announcer Rob Gidel saw his team get the better of Caray's Braves on Friday, snapping an eight-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory.
Josh, 26, is the grandson of Harry Caray, son of Skip and half-brother of Chip, all big-league talents.
But, if it's tough for a player to reach the big-time, consider what Josh Caray faces.
”It's tougher,“ he said, ”because, if you think about it, there's 25 guys per major-league roster but only two play-by-play men. So you really have to work and work and work.“
Josh, a Division III college shot-putter who began at Guilford and graduated from Oglethorpe, is a 6-foot, 230-pounder who somewhat resembles the late John Belushi.
Like Belushi, Josh fancies the stage. During the off-season, he performs in Atlanta, although not in Belushi's stand-up style.
But baseball is his love for now. Although he grew up around big-league booths, he says he didn't realize how much fun he would have until he actually went to work.
”I'd be naive if I (said) that my name didn't help,“ he said. ”But, obviously, because of that name people expect a little more out of you. All I can do is just do my best job. I can't worry about that other stuff.“
Josh tries to be his own Caray. No ”Holy Cow!,“ no net to ”fish“ for foul balls and no singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game — all trademarks of his grandfather Harry.
”I wouldn't mind doing stuff like that if it makes people happy,' he said. ”I don't want it to be "Oh, this is Harry's grandson.' I want it to be because people enjoy something like that.“
■ Legends pitchers Leandro Cespedes, Reid Kelly and J.J. Pacella combined to strike out 15.
The Legends rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a four-run fourth inning.
No. 8 hitter Brandon Barnes singled in a run, followed by Bryan Brown's two-run double. Another run scored when shortstop Michael Fisher's errant throw allowed Matt Cusick to reach first base.
Brian Pellegrini led off the eighth inning with his team-leading 15th homer of the season to make it 5-2.
Rome's Benji Johnson doubled in a run with one out in the ninth. Pacella fanned Jason Heyward. After a four-pitch walk, Pacella got Cole Miles to ground out.