When a baseball fan thinks about legendary streaks, certain names and numbers come to mind. There is DiMaggio and his 56-game hit streak, Ripken Jr. and the 2,632 consecutive games played, and of course Derek Jeter and his 100 straight days of defiling a different super model every night (YEAH JEETS!).
Historic as those streaks may be, there exists an even more impressive baseball streak, one that has until now gone unknown. Thankfully Neil Steinberg of Every Goddamn Day has unearthed this newfound, mind blowing statistical accomplishment and shared it with the world.
After that break, if indeed it was, comes 288 consecutive days in bars, not only in Chicago, but New York City, and of course on the road with the Sox, beginning with spring training in Sarasota.
That otherworldly drinking streak belongs to Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray, who in 1972 spent 288 consecutive nights in bars while calling games for the Chicago White Sox. Not only did Caray hit the bars every single day for over two-thirds of a year, he expensed it all to the White Sox, which we know because this godlike bar streak was recorded in his expense diary.
Perhaps most impressive of all is that Caray had this streak at the age of 58. I’m in my 20s, and if I drink for 7 days in a row I feel like a hollow shell of a human being, filled with more shame than energy. Witnesses to Caray’s streak, including an owner of one of the bars Caray frequented, were basically in awe of the man’s drinking prowess.
“These guys did nothing but go out and have a few cocktails,” said Jimmy Rittenberg, who owned Faces, which Caray visited 14 times in 1972. “I don’t know how they did it. They were 20, 30 years older than me and I couldn’t keep up with them.”
Like DiMaggio, who immediately rattled off a 16 game hitting streak the day after his record setting 56 game streak was snapped, Caray started a new streak after taking a break from drinking an Olympic swimming pool’s worth of Budweiser and scotch. All told, Caray essentially spent every night of 1972 in a bar, billing most of it to the White Sox.
Toward the end of the diary, on Dec. 24, comes the kicker. After spending at least 354 of the previous 357 days in bars (DePorter counted 61 different tap houses) Caray writes, in a bold hand, “Vacation in Acapulco. Then “Vacation” every day until the year runs out.
There is no doubt in my mind that Caray had at least one drink every day of 1972. He seems like the sort of guy who keeps a mini cooler with a sixer of Bud next to the toilet at all times. The man in this commercial doesn’t take a day off.
If there’s a drinking Hall of Fame, this man needs to be in it. Caray’s cumulative hangover finally claimed his life in 1998 at the age of 83.
[via Every Goddamn Day]