Bill Murray’s hilarious Cubs cameos show what he would be like as an announcer
CHICAGO — Nearly 30 years ago today, Bill Murray joined Harry Caray in the announcer’s booth to celebrate the first night game at Wrigley Field on August 8, 1988 (or “eight, eight, 88, that’s the date,” as Caray put it).
A “baptized” Cubs fan, Murray was and still is a regular fixture at games, and on that night Caray asked the comedian if he’d ever considered baseball broadcasting.
“I think when I completely lose my mind, Harry, I’m going to step right up into your spot here in the booth,” Murray said.
While Murray hasn’t made the switch to baseball yet, some of his past appearances give us an idea of what he might contribute as an announcer:
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After Harry Caray suffered a stroke in the spring of 1987, WGN-TV brought in guest announcers including Ernie Harwell, Jim Belushi, and Mike Royko to take over until he recovered. And on April 17, Murray announced the team’s match against the Montreal Expos at Wrigley Field.
During the match, Murray said “O Canada” is “one of the goofiest national anthems I’ve ever heard.”
“It makes the national anthem of the United States sound like Beethoven’s 9th. They’ve only got five words in the song and they just keep saying them over and over again,” Murray said.
During his 1987 appearance Murray also had fun with the Expos lineup as he introduced them, saying how one after another was “no good.”
“Herman Winningham. What, you’re going to be afraid of a guy named Herman? We’ll just throw it right down the plate, when he’s up,” Murray said.
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During his 1987 appearance, Murray also took on Wrigley Field and Cubs fans.
“The really bad ones are in right field. That’s where the real criminal element is,” Murray said.
And in response to the policy of ending beer sales late in the game, he said: “Anybody that can’t get drunk before the eighth inning doesn’t belong here anyway.”
So good you can smell it
From that appearance decades ago to today, Murray has made many popped up many times on Cubs broadcasts, singing during the seventh-inning stretch or just causing a scene. Most recently, he made his way into the booth this June as the Cubs took on the Braves in Atlanta.
“We have the lead and it’s really warm down here. We’re surviving. It smells like hamburgers here. I’ve never been to a ballpark where it smells like hamburgers.” Murray said.
Wait ’til next year
While Murray seems to be content making occasional cameos for now, Cubs fans shouldn’t give up hope that someday he’ll come to the announcer’s booth and stay awhile. After all, waiting is something they’re good at.