Tim McCarver, a MLB veteran of 21 years and a Hall of Fame broadcaster, has died at 81, the baseball Hall of Fame announced on Thursday.
McCarver spent 21 years in Major League Baseball, collecting two World Series rings with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964 and 1967.
McCarver, a catcher for most of his career, played from 1959 to 1980, but he wasn’t done with the game after he hung up his cleats. He went on to broadcasting, where he won three Emmy Awards as a color commentator, notably for Fox Sports.
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In 2012, McCarver won the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting and was also inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2016.
“Tim McCarver was an All-Star, a World Series Champion, a respected teammate, and one of the most influential voices our game has known,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “As a player, Tim was a key part of great Cardinals and Phillies teams in his 21-year career. In the booth, his analysis and attention to detail brought fans closer to our game and how it is played and managed. Tim’s approach enhanced the fan experience on our biggest stages and on the broadcasts of the Mets, the Yankees and the Cardinals.
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“All of us at Major League Baseball are grateful for Tim’s impact on sports broadcasting and his distinguished career in our National Pastime. I extend my deepest condolences to Tim’s family, friends and the generations of fans who learned about our great game from him.”
McCarver was 17 years old when the Cardinals brought him up to the big leagues for his debut in 1959 after signing him out of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis. His playing career really took off in 1963 when he played a full season with the Cardinals and hit .289/.333/.383 with 23 extra-base hits.
He would make it to two All-Star Games in his 12 years as a Cardinal before moving on to the Philadelphia Phillies. While he bounced around in the early 1970s between the Phillies, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and even back to the Cardinals, McCarver spent his final six seasons in MLB with the Phillies.
“The Phillies are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tim McCarver and extend our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, former teammates and colleagues,” Phillies owner John Middleton said in a statement. “Tim joined the Phillies at the height of his career and returned for his final six seasons as a veteran leader, helping the club to three straight NLCS appearances and, ultimately, their first-ever World Series title. Following his playing career, fans throughout the world, including here in Philadelphia, listened to him describe their favorite team’s most iconic moments with professionalism and class. For Tim’s leadership, friendship and voice, the Phillies are forever grateful.”
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McCarver finished his career with a .271/.337/.388 slash line with 97 homers and 645 RBI.
McCarver’s broadcasting career began in Philadelphia on WPHL-TV, where he teamed with Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas for Phillies games. But he ended up calling national games for the major networks, including Fox, where he teamed with Joe Buck from 1996 to 2013.
McCarver called 23 World Series and 20 All-Star Games during his extensive broadcasting career, and upon winning the Frick Award in 2012, he said his catching prowess helped him in the next stage of his baseball journey.
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“I think there is a natural bridge from being a catcher to talking about the view of the game and the view of the other players,” McCarver said when he received the Hall of Fame’s Frick Award in 2012. “It is translating that for the viewers.”