Steve Stone recalls time Harry Caray was held up at gunpoint, with surprising twist


Harry Caray was known to enjoy drinking, but one of his late nights out on the town almost ended horribly wrong.

Steve Stone hopped on WSCR’s “McNeil and Parkins” on Tuesday. During the interview, the show asked the White Sox broadcaster if he could tell a Caray drinking story. 

According to Stone, Caray would always wind up at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel on nights out in St. Louis, often staying until the bar closed at 4 a.m. (Caray was a Cardinals broadcaster from 1945-69).

One night, Caray’s car didn’t start, so he returned to the hotel to call AAA for a tow. He waited outside a few minutes until a car with two guys inside pulled up behind him. One guy stepped out of the car with a gun, pointing it at Caray while walking towards him.

“And Harry puts up his hands. The guy doesn't say anything,” Stone recalled. “And Harry says, 'Don't get excited.' He said, 'I'll give you all the money I have on me. I'll give my watch. I'll give you whatever you want.' 

“’Just let's make sure that you get what you want and then you leave, and everything is OK.'"

The gunman then stopped, with his gun suddenly shaking. He had realized whom he was attempting to harm, and after Caray admitted who he was, things took a dramatic turn.

“And so, [the guy] says, 'This is unbelievable, you're Harry Caray. You don't understand, I grew up listening to you,” Stone added. “You're all I know about baseball. You taught me all the baseball I know. You're Harry Caray.'"

The guy put his gun down, at Caray’s request, and asked why Caray was out so late. The legendary broadcaster said he was waiting for a tow, as he realized his car might be out of gas.

The man offered to drive Caray to and from the gas station, though he declined (understandably so). What started as a scary encounter ended rather harmlessly, and the man departed with one final ironic message.

“He starts to walk away and says ‘Harry, you shouldn't be alone in this neighborhood at night,'" the man said, according to Stone. "'This is a very dangerous neighborhood.' And the guy got in his car and just drove away.”

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