Harry Caray honored with special rendition of 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'

The Field of Dreams Game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds on Thursday provided a host of magical moments.

One of the most memorable came during the seventh-inning stretch, when fans were treated to a recreated animation of Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray singing his iconic rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame."

"Baseball connects generations," said Brad Zager, President of Production and Operations/Executive Producer for FOX Sports. "Everything about the Field of Dreams is about taking our favorite aspects of baseball history and bringing them to life in the modern day, whether it’s from an all-time iconic baseball movie or from the game of baseball itself."

Caray, who died in 1998, was an MLB broadcaster for more than 50 years, including 16 seasons for the Cubs. He was known for providing enthusiastic renditions of the song while working for both the White Sox and Cubs.

"This is about paying tribute to what makes baseball iconic," Zager said. "We hope this moment allows parents to tell their children about what it was like to watch Harry Caray or what it was like to listen to Harry Caray lead the singing of the seventh-inning stretch in Wrigley Field so the next generation can understand and appreciate how much it meant."

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Zager said the idea occurred to him and the FOX production team immediately following the seventh-inning stretch during last year’s inaugural Field of Dreams Game, making this a project — quite literally — a year in the making.

When the Cubs were selected for the game, work immediately began on "Project Ivy" — named for the iconic ivy at Wrigley Field — and recreating Caray's famed seventh-inning stretch.

"As soon as we heard that it was the Cubs, we started to think about what moments and personalities that we could do that fit the Field of Dreams and what could only happen with the magic of the Field of Dreams," he said.

Working with Silver Spoon Animation, in partnership with Nvidia Studios, FOX Sports was able to produce the memorable rendition of Caray's long-standing tradition.

"We’ve worked with Nvidia for past projects and using their cutting-edge tech that allows photo-realistic animated recreations," said Michael Davies, Senior Vice President of Field Operations for FOX Sports. "As Brad said, the idea was sprung in the eighth inning of last year’s game. And the search for the technology to make that idea possible started the next day.

"The hardest part? Making sure the recreation was as faithful a tribute to Harry Caray and his legacy as technology allows. We hope it helps extend the legacy of Harry Caray to the next generation of baseball fan."

Thursday night's game featured a number of other historical tributes, including Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. playing catch as the teams took the field and legendary Reds catcher Johnny Bench receiving the ceremonial first pitch from Cubs Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins.

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