Inside the Panthers

Panthers coach Ron Rivera remembers dinner with former Cubs sportscaster Harry Caray

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera once had dinner with late Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray.
Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera once had dinner with late Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

The Chicago Cubs drew even with the Cleveland Indians with a 5-1 victory in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

About 500 miles away, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera, a former Bears player and coordinator, raised his blue-and-white “W” flag to celebrate the victory.

Rivera said he sang the “Take Me Out To the Ballgame” at Wrigley in 2004.

“Going to that ballpark is something special. Ol’ Wrigley is a neat place, and a lot of fun,” he said. “It’s kind of easy (to sing) because the crowd joins in, and they drown you out.”

The head coach also has fond memories of longtime play-by-play man Harry Caray, who passed away in 1998.

“When I was a player, we would play at home and afterward my mother, we would take her out to dinner. We went to Harry Caray’s (restaurant) for dinner, and he just happened to be there,” said Rivera. “So he invited us up into the dining area, a private dining area, and we sat down and had dinner with him. And my mother, who is a huge baseball fan, remembers listening to him on the Armed Forces radio, so that was a big thrill for her.”

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue

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