Hologram Harry Caray Is a Reminder That the Tech Is Creepy and Unnecessary

The legendary broadcaster got the "Weekend at Bernie's" treatment during Thursday's Field of Dreams game

Harry Caray in the broadcast booth. A new hologram Harry Caray is the center of a new controversey.
Harry Caray in his prime (and not as a hologram)
Bettmann Archive

Field of Dreams is all about nostalgia and resurrecting long-dead baseball greats, so to a certain extent, it makes sense that Thursday’s Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa celebrating the movie’s legacy would feature a hologram of beloved Cubs play-by-play man Harry Caray singing the seventh inning stretch.

The Fox broadcast of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds featured the hologram of Caray, who died in 1998, leading the crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the stretch, as he did at Wrigley Field for decades when he was alive. But the hologram of the legendary broadcaster left much to be desired.

The hologram looked awkward, to say the least, and its movements were just jerky and unnatural enough to remind us that we were watching what essentially amounts to a reanimated corpse rather than an actual human being. It begs the question: Why bother? Since they added a video board in left field back in 2015, Wrigley Field has made a habit of playing footage of Caray singing the stretch during games when they don’t have a celebrity guest conductor of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” booked. It’s a completely fine way of honoring Caray; it’s hard to imagine someone complaining that the dead broadcaster isn’t walking around the press box in 3D.

Whether it’s Harry Caray, Whitney Houston or Tupac, holograms of deceased celebrities will always feel like an unethical invasion. Bringing a dead person back to life — even digitally — is inherently creepy, and making their body say and do whatever you want it to when they can’t object due to the whole “not being alive” thing is morally dubious. Why can’t watching old video footage suffice?

You can watch the Harry Caray hologram below and judge for yourself. (For what it’s worth, the team at Fox didn’t exactly seem confident in it: The hologram is mostly filmed from afar, and producers cut away to shots of the crowd for most of the stretch.)

Win the Ultimate Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix Experience

Want the F1 experience of a lifetime? Here’s your chance to win tickets to see Turn 18 Grandstand, one of Ultimate Formula 1® Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix’s most premier grandstands!