How Much Did Harry Caray Drink During His Life? Here’s The Answer
If you stopped 50 people on the street and asked them how many drinks they think Harry Caray guzzled down over the course of his remarkably interesting 83 year life, you'd probably hear "a lot!" well...a lot.
But what if I told you that there actually is a number. Not a number put together by someone guessing about the number of drinks Harry consumed by taking one day and multiplying outward, but a number determined by Harry Caray himself, the man who actually did the drinking.
In 1972, Harry Caray Began Documenting His Elbow-Bending In A "Drinking Diary" That He Planned On Using For Tax Purposes
Back in the day, you could deduct your 3-martini lunches from your taxes, so Harry figured if he documented all the times he paid for a drink over the course of the year, he could write those expenses off at tax time. Harry was of the opinion that his drinking and entertaining activities away from the ballpark were all part of his overall job.
For most people, that sort of scheme would never work, but it made total sense for Harry Caray to try it.
Harry's 1972 Drinking Diary Reveals That He Bar-Hopped For 288 Consecutive Days, Which Is Equal To 41 Weeks, And He Could Be Found In A Bar On 354 Of 365 Days
Anyone who thinks that Harry's drinking couldn't be real and was just something to build and maintain an image (like Dean Martin, for example), really couldn't be more wrong. Looking at the numbers shows that Harry drank for about 65 of his 84 years.
After the drinking diary (or diaries) were found back in 2014, they were shared with various news and entertainment outlets, and that prompted some serious number-crunching.
Thrillist.com says that Grant DePorter, keeper of the diary and the CEO of Harry Caray's Restaurant Group, was told by Harry Caray that Caray had consumed over 300,000 drinks in his lifetime, and 73,000 Budweisers over the course of 41 years. That averages out to 4.9 Buds per day.
So, what about the other 24 years? Going with the 4.9 beers per day formula, that equals out to another 42,924 beers. Thrillist.com:
THE GRAND TOTAL? 115,924 BEERS. Or to err on the safe side, accounting for year-to-year fluctuations in consumption rate (not every year can sustain 288-day drinking benders like 1972), a more conservative estimate would be between 110,000 to 120,000 beers. Either way, that’s a helluva lot of beer.
Here's The Most Interesting Aspect Of Harry's Drinking: He Drank More Cocktails Than Beer
And what was Harry Caray's preferred cocktail? It was a Bombay Sapphire martini. So let's do the math and total things up.
If Harry was correct when he said that he'd had 300,000 drinks in his life, and of that 300,000, 115,294 were beers--that means he knocked back 184,076 mixed drinks, which easily eclipses the beer drinking. All in all, there was a lot of drinking for one human being. How much?
When you average out 300,000 drinks over a 65 year drinking span, you get 12.6 drinks per day!
Here's one more fun fact about Harry Caray and a certain famous fan: