Tim McCarver

Tim McCarver Biography

James Timothy "Tim" McCarver (born October 16, 1941) is an American former professional baseball catcher and current sportscaster. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) and announces for Fox Sports.

McCarver played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, and Boston Red Sox between 1959 and 1980. He appeared in the MLB All-Star Game in 1966 and 1967, and was a member of the World Series champions in 1964 and 1967.

McCarver is the recipient of the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award.

Early playing career

McCarver was born in Memphis, Tennessee. McCarver, following his years with Memphis' Christian Brothers High School, was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in . Playing with the Cardinals' minor league teams of Keokuk and Rochester, McCarver reached the MLB level for the first time at the age of only 17.

He spent the , , and seasons shuttling between St. Louis and the minor league teams of Memphis, Charleston (West Virginia), and Atlanta. In , he was called up to the majors for good.

St. Louis Cardinals

In , his tiebreaking home run in the 10th inning won Game 5 of the World Series. In , 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. In , he finished second to teammate Orlando Cepeda for the National League Most Valuable Player award. McCarver was a member of two World Series championships during his time in St. Louis. He was the favorite catcher of the notoriously temperamental Bob Gibson, and fostered a relationship with young pitcher Steve Carlton that would keep him in the major leagues later in his career. In 1968, he was the Cardinals catcher as they took the NL pennant but lost to the Detroit Tigers in a seven-game World Series.

Later career

After a trade to Philadelphia involving, among others, his teammate Curt Flood (which led to Flood's dramatic lawsuit over baseball's reserve clause) before the 1970 season, McCarver played for the Phillies, Expos, Red Sox, and another brief stint with the Cardinals (he was replaced on the roster by the rookie Keith Hernandez). McCarver's move into broadcasting career might have taken a different turn in , when, according to Peter Gammons, McCarver (then 33 and Boston's third-string catcher) was rumored as a potential managerial replacement for struggling skipper Darrell Johnson. McCarver, however, was released (to return to the Phillies), and Johnson led the Red Sox to the '75 AL pennant.

During his first stint with the Phillies, McCarver caught Rick Wise's no-hitter on June 23, . At the end of the season, the Phillies traded Wise to the Cardinals for Steve Carlton, the deal reuniting McCarver with Carlton. During the 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.

On July 4, 1976, McCarver hit what is known as a "Grand Slam Single" when after hitting a game-winning home run he passed his teammate Garry Maddox in the basepath. As host of "The Not-so-Great Moments in Sports" special which aired on HBO, he supposedly said to the umpire, "I didn't pass him, he lapped me." Asked later how he could have done that, McCarver replied "sheer speed." The event was honored in "The Baseball Hall of SHAME 3" book as "Tim McCarver's Grand Sob."

McCarver finished his career as the personal catcher for Steve Carlton for the Phillies in the late 1970s. Carlton preferred McCarver to Phillies regular Bob Boone. It was quipped that when Carlton and McCarver eventually died, they would be buried 60 feet, 6 inches apart.

He retired after the season to begin a broadcasting career. McCarver briefly returned to duty in September , thus becoming one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to appear in Major League games in four different decades (1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s).

Broadcasting career

As a broadcaster, McCarver has enjoyed prominence as a color commentator on the network level. He has won three Emmy Awards for Sports Event Analyst.

He began his broadcasting career at WPHL-TV (Channel 17) in Philadelphia, where he was paired with Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas for Phillies games, before co-hosting HBO's Race for the Pennant in and working as a backup Game of the Week commentator for NBC in .

McCarver has called baseball for all four major U.S. television networks. His work at NBC was followed by stints with ABC (where he teamed with Don Drysdale on backup Monday Night Baseball games in and Al Michaels and Jim Palmer from - and again from " under the "Baseball Network" umbrella) and CBS (where he teamed with Jack Buck from " and Sean McDonough from "). McCarver is currently paired with Joe Buck on the Fox network's MLB telecasts, a role he has held since .

McCarver called his first World Series in for ABC as a last minute replacement for Howard Cosell. Cosell had been removed from the broadcasts altogether after excerpts from his controversial book, I Never Played the Game (which was critical of Cosell's co-workers at ABC Sports), appeared in TV Guide. Perhaps, McCarver's most notable assignment for ABC prior to the 1985 World Series, was as a field reporter for the 1984 National League Championship Series. McCarver's regular season broadcast partner, Don Drysdale, was instead paired with Reggie Jackson and Earl Weaver.

Also while at ABC, he also served as a correspondent and play-by-play announcer for Freestyle skiing at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. McCarver also co-hosted the prime time coverage of 1992 Winter Olympics with Paula Zahn for CBS.

He has also called games locally for the Phillies from 1980 to 1982, Mets from 1983 to 1998, Yankees from 1999 to 2001, and Giants in 2002. However, McCarver wasn't able to call the World Series wins by the Phillies in , Mets in , and Yankees in (all three wins were broadcast on NBC, but McCarver wasn't part of the broadcasting team any of those times.).

McCarver is the only sportscaster to have covered the New York Mets and two of their rivals on a regular basis. He is one of three sportscasters to have covered the Mets and the Yankees (the others being Fran Healy and Tom Seaver) and one of three sportscasters to have covered both the Mets and the Phillies. (the others being Todd Kalas and Tom McCarthy)

In 2003, McCarver set a record by broadcasting his 13th World Series on national television (surpassing Curt Gowdy). Also, since (when he served as a field reporter for ABC's National League Championship Series coverage), McCarver has to date, never missed commentating on the League Championship Series.

McCarver also hosts a nationally syndicated sports interview program, called The Tim McCarver Show.

McCarver announced March 27, 2013 he will retire from Fox after the 2013 season.


McCarver has courted criticism throughout his career.

While covering the Mets, McCarver criticized Darryl Strawberry for staying in the same place in the outfield regardless of the hitter at bat. He often said Strawberry would make more outs if he made some adjustments. Then-Mets manager, Davey Johnson responded, saying that Darryl sees the ball come off the bat better in that spot than anywhere else, he cannot read the ball well, and any advantage will be lost because he will misplay it.

During the 1992 National League Championship Series, he criticized Deion Sanders, who also had become an NFL star, for playing both sports on the same day. For his criticism, Sanders dumped a bucket of water on McCarver three times while he was covering the National League pennant winning Atlanta Braves' clubhouse celebration for CBS. After receiving the water, McCarver shouted at Sanders, "You are a real man, Deion. I'll say that." 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.

In Game 4 of the 1997 American League Championship Series, on a wild pitch with runners dashing around the bases, when umpire Durwood Merrill gestured to where the ball was, McCarver sarcastically commented that "maybe he was trying to tell himself where the ball is!" Merrill heard about that, took offense to it, and fired back in his autobiography that he was letting the other umpires know that the situation was under control.

When rule questions came up during a broadcast, McCarver misstated a rule. After a St. Louis Cardinals balk in Game 4 of the 2006 NLCS, McCarver explained, "You have to have 'one thousand one' when coming to a stop, and you have to stop your glove in the same place every time in front of your body," when the rules state that there must be merely a complete discernible stop anywhere in front of the pitcher's body; no certain duration or location is necessary.

McCarver has been known to make verbal gaffes, particularly with player's names (notably confusing Albert Pujols with the retired Luis Pujols, as well as repeatedly referring to Bronson Arroyo as "Brandon Arroyo" during the 2004 World Series). Recently, in the 2009 World Series, he referred to New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter as "Jerek Deter" and in the 2012 NLCS, he referred to St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso as "Daniel Delkasco." McCarver, has, in general, been accused of overanalyzing situations, being too verbose, and not allowing a game to breathe.

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

In 2010, he compared how the New York Yankees treated former manager Joe Torre to how Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia treated its generals, a position he was later forced to apologize for.

Music career

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

Honors and awards

In 2010, McCarver was inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame. In July 2012, he was elected to the broadcaster's wing in the Hall of Fame.

The minor league baseball stadium in Memphis was christened Tim McCarver Stadium in ; it was replaced by a new downtown stadium (named AutoZone Park in a naming rights arrangement) in .


In popular culture

  • McCarver was a subject of a "cutaway" joke on the "Mother Tucker" episode of Family Guy.

See also

  • List of Major League Baseball triples champions
  • List of Major League Baseball players who played in four decades

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tim_McCarver" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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