Tim McCarver

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Tim McCarver
McCarver in 2002
Catcher
Born: (1941-10-16)October 16, 1941
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Died: February 16, 2023(2023-02-16) (aged 81)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Batted: Left
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 10, 1959, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
October 5, 1980, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Batting average.271
Home runs97
Runs batted in645
Teams
Career highlights and awards

James Timothy McCarver (October 16, 1941 – February 16, 2023) was an American professional baseball catcher, television sports commentator, and singer.[1][2] He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1959 to 1980 for four teams, spending almost all of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. A two-time All-Star, he helped the Cardinals to the 1964 World Series title, batting .478 in the Series, including a three-run home run in the tenth inning to win Game 5. In 1966, he became the first catcher since the 19th century to lead the National League (NL) in triples with 13. McCarver was runner-up for the 1967 NL Most Valuable Player Award, behind teammate Orlando Cepeda, after batting .295 and leading NL catchers in assists and fielding percentage.

Traded to the Phillies after the 1969 season, he was later re-joined by pitcher and St. Louis teammate Steve Carlton, becoming his regular catcher as the team won three division titles from 1976 to 1978. After increased use as a pinch hitter in his last several seasons, in September 1980, McCarver became the 18th major league player to play in four decades.

After his playing career, McCarver became a television color commentator, most notably for Fox Sports after previous stints with the other three broadcast networks. He eventually set a record by calling 23 World Series as well as 20 All-Star Games, earning three Emmy Awards in the process. In 2012, McCarver was named the Ford C. Frick Award recipient. He was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2016,[3][4] and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2017.

Playing career[edit]

Early life[edit]

McCarver was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where he attended Christian Brothers High School. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959. After playing in the minor leagues with the Keokuk Indians and the Rochester Red Wings, McCarver reached the Major Leagues for the first time at 17.[5]

McCarver spent the 1960 season with the Memphis Chicks, the 1961 season with the Charleston Charlies, and the 1962 season with the Atlanta Crackers, receiving brief promotions to the major leagues in the 1960 and 1961 seasons. In 1963, he was promoted to the Major Leagues for good.[5]

St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

McCarver hit the tie-breaking home run in the 10th inning, winning Game 5 of the 1964 World Series for the Cardinals. In 1966, McCarver was named to the All-Star Team, scored the winning run in the 10th inning of that 1966 All-Star Game, and became the first catcher to lead the National League in triples, with 13.[6] In 1967, he finished second to teammate Orlando Cepeda for the National League Most Valuable Player award.[7]

McCarver was a member of two World Series champion teams in St. Louis. He was the favorite catcher of the notoriously temperamental Bob Gibson, and he fostered a relationship with young pitcher Steve Carlton that would keep him in the Major Leagues later in his career. In 1968, McCarver was the Cardinals catcher as they won the NL pennant but were ultimately defeated by the Detroit Tigers in a seven-game World Series.[8]

Later career[edit]

After the 1969 season, the Cardinals traded McCarver, Curt Flood, Joe Hoerner, and Byron Browne to the Philadelphia Phillies for Dick Allen, Cookie Rojas, and Jerry Johnson.[9] On June 14, 1972, the Phillies traded McCarver to the Montreal Expos for John Bateman. The Expos used McCarver as an outfielder.[10] The Cardinals re-acquired McCarver from the Expos for Jorge Roque after the 1972 season.[11] The Boston Red Sox purchased McCarver from the Cardinals towards the end of the 1974 season.[12] The Red Sox released McCarver in June 1975.[13] He signed with the Phillies a week later.[14]

McCarver in 2017

During his first stint with the Phillies, McCarver caught Rick Wise's no-hitter on June 23, 1971.[15][16] At the end of the season, the Phillies traded Wise to the Cardinals for Steve Carlton, reuniting McCarver with his former teammate. During the 1972 season, the Phillies traded McCarver to the Montreal Expos, where, on October 2, he caught the second of Bill Stoneman's two career no-hitters.[17] McCarver finished his career as Carlton's personal catcher for the Phillies in the late 1970s.[18]

McCarver retired after the 1979 season to begin a broadcasting career.[19] McCarver briefly returned to duty in September 1980,[20] becoming one of 31 players to appear in Major League games in four decades (1950s–1980s).

He caught 121 shutouts during his career, ranking him 9th all-time.[21]

Broadcasting career[edit]

After retiring from playing, McCarver worked in sports broadcasting as a color commentator for several decades. He won three Emmy Awards for Sports Event Analyst.[15]

Local broadcasts[edit]

He began his broadcasting career at WPHL-TV (Channel 17) in Philadelphia, where he called Phillies games with Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas.[22] McCarver called games for local sports networks carrying the Phillies from 1980 to 1982, the New York Mets from 1983 to 1998, the New York Yankees from 1999 to 2001, and the San Francisco Giants in 2002.[23]

National broadcasts[edit]

McCarver began working as a backup Game of the Week commentator for NBC in 1980.[24] His work at NBC was followed by stints with ABC (where he teamed with Don Drysdale on backup Monday Night Baseball games in 1984 and Al Michaels and Jim Palmer from 1985 to 1989 and again from 1994 to 1995 under the "Baseball Network" umbrella) and CBS (where he teamed with Jack Buck from 1990 to 1991 and Sean McDonough from 1992 to 1993). McCarver called his first World Series in 1985 for ABC as a last-minute replacement for Howard Cosell.[25] While at ABC, McCarver also served as a correspondent and play-by-play announcer for freestyle skiing at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, and he later co-hosted the primetime coverage of 1992 Winter Olympics with Paula Zahn for CBS.[26]

In 1996, McCarver was paired with Joe Buck on the Fox network's MLB telecasts, a role he held from 1996 to 2013.[27] In 2003, McCarver set a record by broadcasting his 13th World Series on national television (surpassing Curt Gowdy). He called 24 World Series for ABC, CBS, and Fox.[28] McCarver announced in March 2013 that he would leave Fox after the 2013 season.[29] His final Fox broadcast was October 30, 2013, as the Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 to win the 2013 World Series.[30]

Return to local broadcasting[edit]

In December 2013, he was hired to be a part-time analyst for the Cardinals on Fox Sports Midwest.[31] He teamed with Dan McLaughlin to call 30 games in the 2014 season.[6] His first game called for the Cardinals was on April 28, 2014, when they hosted the Milwaukee Brewers. McCarver returned to the Cardinals booth for 40 games in 2015 and continued to call a select number of games each year through 2019. McCarver did not work on any telecasts during the team's shortened 2020 season, due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[32] In April 2022, McCarver officially announced his retirement from broadcasting.[33]

McCarver also hosted a nationally syndicated sports interview program, The Tim McCarver Show, from 2000 until 2017.[28]

Criticism[edit]

During the 1992 National League Championship Series, McCarver criticized Deion Sanders, who also had become an NFL star, for playing two sports—football and baseball—on the same day. For his criticism, on October 14, 1992, after Game 7 had concluded, Sanders dumped a bucket of ice water on McCarver three times while covering the National League pennant-winning Atlanta Braves' clubhouse celebration for CBS. After being doused with the water, McCarver shouted at Sanders, "You are a real man, Deion. I'll say that."[34] Also during the 1992 post-season (when McCarver worked for CBS), Norman Chad criticized McCarver in Sports Illustrated by saying that he's someone who "when you ask him the time, will tell you how a watch works," a reference to McCarver's habit of over-analyzing.[35]

In October 2008, just before the 2008 NLCS, McCarver made public his feelings about Manny Ramirez, calling him "despicable" and criticizing him for his sloppy, lazy play in Boston and how he had suddenly turned it around in Los Angeles. Ramirez declined to comment.[36]

In 2010, McCarver compared the New York Yankees' treatment of former manager Joe Torre to the treatment meted out by Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia to generals who fell out of favor with their leaders. After receiving negative comments about his position on the topic, McCarver apologized.[37]

Music career[edit]

On October 9, 2009, McCarver released a cover album of jazz standards entitled Tim McCarver Sings Songs from the Great American Songbook.[38][39]

Personal life[edit]

McCarver married his high school sweetheart, Anne, on December 29, 1964. They had two daughters.[5]

McCarver died of heart failure in Memphis on February 16, 2023, at age 81.[40][25]

Awards and honors[edit]

McCarver speaking upon being inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame, 2010

Baseball

  • Two-time World Series champion[8]
  • Two-time National League All-Star[8]
  • 2010 Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame inductee.[41]

Broadcasting

The minor league baseball stadium in Memphis was christened Tim McCarver Stadium in 1978 and [43] was replaced by a new downtown stadium (named AutoZone Park in a naming rights arrangement) in 2000.

Works[edit]

  • McCarver, Tim; Levenson, Bob (1987). Oh Baby, I Love It!: Baseball Summers, Hot Pennant Races, Grand Salamis, Jellylegs, El Swervos, Dingers and Dunkers. Random House. ISBN 978-0394556918.
  • McCarver, Tim; Peary, Danny (1999). Tim McCarver's Baseball for Brain Surgeons and Other Fans: Understanding and Interpreting the Game So You Can Watch It Like a Pro. Villard. ISBN 978-0375753404.
  • McCarver, Tim; Peary, Danny (2008). Tim McCarver's Diamond Gems. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 978-0071545945.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Books and CD – The Tim McCarver Show".
  2. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/album/r1687494
  3. ^ Hummel, Rick (July 15, 2012). "McCarver gets call from Baseball Hall of Fame". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  4. ^ "Tim McCarver at the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame". sportsbroadcastinghalloffame.org. Retrieved October 23, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c Williams, Dave (January 4, 2012). "Tim McCarver". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Caesar, Dan (March 7, 2014). "McCarver completes deal for 30 Cards games on FSM". STLtoday.com. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  7. ^ "Tim McCarver's Monumental Baseball Career". National Review. February 16, 2023. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Weber, Bruce (February 16, 2023). "Tim McCarver, Catcher in the Hall of Fame as a Broadcaster, Dies at 81". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  9. ^ "Richie Allen Traded from Boobirds to Redbirds". Pottstown Mercury. October 9, 1969. p. 30. Retrieved February 16, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ Robertson, John (June 15, 1972). "McCarver won't catch for Expos". The Montreal Star. p. D-2. Retrieved February 16, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "McCarver rejoins Cards". The Greenville News. Associated Press. November 7, 1972. p. 9. Retrieved February 16, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Twins' Goltz Halts Bosox". The Miami Herald. September 1, 1974. p. 2-E. Retrieved February 16, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ "Sox Ask Waivers On Tim McCarver". Holyoke Transcript-Telegram. Associated Press. June 24, 1975. p. 16. Retrieved February 17, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "McCarver signs with Phillies". The Boston Globe. United Press International. July 2, 1975. p. 49. Retrieved February 17, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ a b "Tim McCarver: Looking back at Phillies career of broadcasting great". CBS News. February 16, 2023. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  16. ^ "Retrosheet Boxscore: Philadelphia Phillies 4, Cincinnati Reds 0". retrosheet.org.
  17. ^ "Retrosheet Boxscore: Montreal Expos 7, New York Mets 0 (1)". retrosheet.org.
  18. ^ Shenk, Larry (August 24, 2017). "Carlton, McCarver a pair for the ages". Major League Baseball.
  19. ^ Barnidge, Tom (April 18, 1980). "Tim McCarver: At Peace With His Past And Present". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. p. 2E. Retrieved February 17, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ Meixell, Ted (September 3, 1980). "Coming back gives McCarver added pride". The Morning Call. p. C3. Retrieved February 17, 2023 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "Trivia December 2010 – Career Shutouts Caught". The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  22. ^ Ignudo, Tom. "Tim McCarver: Looking back at Phillies career of broadcasting great – CBS Philadelphia". CBS News. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  23. ^ "Tim McCarver, 2-time World Series champion and TV broadcaster, dies at 81". Yahoo! Sport. February 16, 2023. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  24. ^ Evans, Greg (February 16, 2023). "Tim McCarver Dies: Hall Of Fame Announcer & All-Star Catcher Was 81". Yahoo! News. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  25. ^ a b Kaufman, Ira (February 16, 2023). "Tim McCarver, Cerebral Catcher and Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Dies at 81". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  26. ^ Sandomir, Richard (March 1, 1992). "McCarver Survives Olympic Task". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  27. ^ "Baseball world reacts to death of Tim McCarver". Fox Sports. February 17, 2023. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  28. ^ a b Ladson, Bill (February 16, 2023). "McCarver, champion catcher turned famed broadcaster, dies at 81". Major League Baseball. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  29. ^ "'I Am By No Means Retiring': Tim McCarver To Leave Broadcast Booth After Season". CBS News New York. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  30. ^ "Tim McCarver Retirement: Joe Buck's Send-Off for Broadcasting Partner Was Classy". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  31. ^ Langosch, Jennifer (December 8, 2013). "St. Louis Cardinals set to add Tim McCarver to broadcast team". Major League Baseball.
  32. ^ Hummel, Rick (July 16, 2020). "McCarver opts out of Cardinals telecasts this season". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  33. ^ Lucia, Joe (April 1, 2022). "Tim McCarver is retiring as a broadcaster". Awful Announcing.
  34. ^ McEntegart, Pete (January 14, 200). "The 10 Spot". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  35. ^ Connors, Greg (March 31, 2013). "Mixed Media: McCarver's an easy target, but critics are off base". Buffalo News. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  36. ^ McCarron, Anthony (October 8, 2008). "Tim McCarver calls Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez 'despicable'". Daily News. New York. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  37. ^ "McCarver calls comments inappropriate". ESPN. July 20, 2010.
  38. ^ "Books and CD – The Tim McCarver Show".
  39. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/album/r1687494
  40. ^ Italie, Hillel (February 16, 2023). "Tim McCarver, big league catcher, and broadcaster, dies at 81". Associated Press. Retrieved February 16, 2023.
  41. ^ "Tim McCarver". Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  42. ^ "Tim McCarver Wins Ford C. Frick Award". Americansportscastersonline.com. November 25, 2022. Retrieved February 17, 2023.
  43. ^ "Stadium Named For McCarver". Gettysburg Times. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. October 21, 1977. p. 14. Retrieved May 9, 2013 – via Google News Archives.

External links[edit]

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