Watch CBS News

Annual Toast To Harry Caray Bittersweet With Passing Of 'Mr. Cub' And Minnie Minoso

(CBS) – Hundreds of people crowded into the original Harry Caray's steakhouse on Kinzie Street on Thursday night to offer a toast to the late Hall of Fame broadcaster.

This year was different, with the loss of Chicago baseball legends Ernie "Mr. Cub" Banks and White Sox great Minnie Minoso.

Also, organizers stressed a "Back to the Future" them, in reference to the Michael J. Fox series that boldly predicted that the Cubs would become the 2015 World Series champions.

Outside of the restaurant was the DeLorean coupe that was used in the movie, which now belongs to the Volo Auto Museum. Inside, fans donned massively out-sized eyeglass frames, reminiscent of the ones Caray wore until his death in 1998.

Annual Caray Toast Offers Nods To Minoso, Banks

The toast was offered in three parts.  First, Ronnie "Woo-Woo" Wickers offered a toast to Minoso. Cubs Hall of Famer Billy Williams offered a toast to his former roommate, Banks. And Caray's widow, Dutchie, offered the final toast to her late husband, whom she called "the great broadcaster ever."

Also present on stage was football coaching legend Marv Levy, a native Chicagoan who watched Cubs games on cable for years before actually meeting Caray. The two became close friends.

All led the crowd, with the help of a vintage videotape, in a chorus of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

The toast was started in 1998 as a memorial to Caray, who had just died. The restaurant has encouraged similar toasts elsewhere almost from the beginning, and estimate that more than 5 million people in 120 countries have offered a simultaneous toast over the past 17 years.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.