Long-time major league baseball player and broadcaster Tim McCarver passed away today, per multiple reports. He was 81 years old.
“Tim McCarver was an All-Star, a World Series Champion, a respected teammate, and one of the most influential voices our game has known,” reads a statement from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. “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. 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.”
A native of Tennessee, McCarver was signed by the Cardinals as a 17-year-old catcher in 1959. He got brief stints in the majors over the next few years before cementing himself as a major leaguer in 1963. He got into 127 games that year and hit .289. The next season, he held that batting average fairly steady at .288, helping the Cardinals win the pennant before defeating the Yankees in the 1964 World Series. McCarver caught every inning of every game in that series and hit .478 along the way.
He would be a mainstay of the Cardinals for the next five years as well, winning another World Series in 1967 and making the All-Star team in 1966 and 1967. He was traded to the Phillies prior to the 1970 campaign and stayed with them until a trade to the Expos midway through the 1972 campaign. He returned to the Cardinals in 1973 and part of 1974, then went to the Red Sox for a time before going back to the Phillies. He would stick in Philadelphia for the later part of his career, from midway through the 1975 season through the 1980 campaign. While he served as Steve Carlton’s “personal catcher,” the Phils won the National League East division in three straight years starting in 1976. He technically retired after 1979 but returned to the club late in 1980 so he could become the 11th player in history to play in four different decades.
For many baseball fans, McCarver is more recognizable as a broadcaster than as a player. He joined the Phillies’ broadcast team in 1980 and stayed with that club through 1982. During that time, he got his first experience of nationally-televised games with NBC’s Game of the Week. He then started calling Mets’ games, a gig that he held from 1983 through 1998. That period of time also saw him work with ABC on Monday Night Baseball and work on the World Series for the first time in 1985.
McCarver would also have stints working on the broadcast teams for the Yankees and Giants, as well as national gigs for CBS and The Baseball Network. But arguably the most significant development of this part of his career when was Fox acquired the rights for the World Series in 1996. They installed McCarver on the team with Joe Buck and he stayed there through 2013, eventually working the World Series in 23 different seasons. His last season with Fox was 2013, and he would call Cardinal games on a part-time basis in the years after that.
McCarver played in 1,909 major league games, racking up 1,501 hits, 97 home runs, 590 runs scored and 645 runs batted in. He won a pair of World Series titles, made a pair of All-Star teams and caught a pair of no-hitters. He then spent close to four decades as a broadcaster, including a lengthy stint as one of the most recognizable voices of the game.
We at MLB Trade Rumors join others in extending our condolences to his family, friends, fans and all those throughout the baseball world who are mourning him today.
R.I.p Tim McCarver, a voice of my youth! I learned baseball from my dad and listening to Ralph Kiner and Tim call Mets games. I know Tim wasn’t good as an announcer late in his career, but he was great in the 80’s and most of the 90’s. He and Ralph are calling baseball together in the afterlife.
The guy loved the game…. He was one of the traditionalists that didn’t enjoy seeing the game change, but that’s to be expected with that generation.
To me, he’s most well-known for his run-in with Deion Sanders.
A decent to solid player but as good of a color voice as the game has seen. A few equal but none better.
This one belongs to the Reds
Also Steve Carlton’s personal catcher. One of the first guys I heard of caddying for a certain pitcher.
Comrade Tipsy McBlotto
While I wish nobody dead and do think he was an excellent baseball player for a number of years, he was an awful color commenter with a horrible bias in nationally televised games. Any Twins fan who watched the 1987 World Series on TV knows exactly what I am talking about. He should have been pulled after game 1. He was not only biased but arrogant, dismissive, and belittling. And I have seen it in many other occasions. When Tim was on, it was time to change the channel.
Same man. From Pittsburgh and a lifelong Bucs fan. I got my first tv for my room in 85 and living in a small town southwestern PA and no cable I couldn’t get the Pirates games on TV, just radio. Somehow though my rabbit ears could pick up WWOR, so I watched every Mets game I could and loved Tim. Some nights couldn’t fall asleep without him. I still followed Pirates but I was only 10 and at that time the Mets were my team. Good in terms of their winning but was rough going to Mets/Bucs games with my grandma. Whole “muck the fets” era.
Any rate. This is a loss for the baseball community. Rest in peace.
Ohhh man… felt this one coming on since they took him off the air….
RIP Tim McCarver, I’ll always remember the fox Saturday broadcasts with you and Joe buck growing up and hearing your stories. Thanks for the memories
Lost a true Cardinal.
Was never a fan of his commentary but may be Rest in Paradise
This is the one time that if you have nothing positive to say that it is kinder to just remain silent.
Not many catchers get fifteen hundred hits and not many announcers participate in that many World Series. This was an iconic career.
Comrade Tipsy McBlotto
Wrong. Now is the time to say something. When else can we? There will LITERALLY never be another Tim McCarver post ever again on MLB Trade Rumors (god willing).
So if the show was on the other foot: it will be okay for the general public to go online and talk about your misgivings the day of your death? For all of your friends and family to read? Is there any common decency and respect at all these days? Don’t answer that……
I know the answer
@Comrade Tipsy, from now on, every time I see you post, I will reply with a Tim McCarver post.
Comrade Tipsy McBlotto
Bring it. And I will respond by talking about how people like him ruin the sport of baseball. He was an excellent player and was probably good as a commenter when you were rooting for the same team he was… but boy howdy was he egregiously biased at times.
Comrade Tipsy McBlotto
Sure. I’ll be dead. I don’t care. And I’d rather people remember me as a complicated person, warts and all.
This man almost single-handedly ruined the 1987 World Series for Twins fans (slight hyperbole). He deserves a little scorn for that. I gave him compliments as well. I can show you when and where.
R.I.P. Tim. I hope you are getting an earful from Kirby right now.
One of my favorite Tim McCarver quotes “Bob Gibson was the luckiest pitcher I ever saw. He always seemed to pitch on the days the other teams didn’t score any runs.”
Loved the story he told of a grand slam he’d hit, only to be called out for missing first base. When he ran out to protest the call, the ump told him, “Son, you missed second, too”
Was said about Marv Throneberry and almost certainly true.
There was nothing negative about it, though. If I said something like good riddens, that’s disrespectful.
While maybe you intended no ill will and did make a statement that many people would agree with, maybe a different approach could’ve been used.
I’ll say my bit.
Tim was a great baseball guy. His relationship with Bob Gibson is one of the best and iconic pitcher/catcher relationships in the history of the game for the appreciators of baseball history. Tim was very knowledgeable.
Now with his broadcast career, to me, he was the last legitimate Mets commentator that their organization had. He spoke the truth based on his years as a ballplayer, which was the way commentary was done back then where the home commentators spoke with their honest opinions and knowledge of the game. Ever since then, the Mets had a bunch of people selling the Mets Kool-Aid and Homer Goggles…following the old Braves “America’s Team” garbage that Ted Turner forced into TBS back in the 1980s. Tim was eventually let go by the Mets, and sadly it was because of his honest comments that individuals like Davey Johnson took issue with, and Keith Hernandez (leading a few other players) opposed…even going as far to indicate they preferred the Braves homer style because they supported their players no matter how bad things would go.
For people that only saw the national broadcast of Tim McCarver, that was the softened version who no longer was entirely free in all of his commentary because he was trying to survive in a game that was shifting to the homer style of regional broadcasting, and the national broadcasting styles at FOX and E!SPN that had abandoned neutral broadcasting and completely went all in with the big market allegiance…sticking mainly to the Boston and NY teams who reside in their backyards. For anyone that doubts that is what happened with McCarver, I will cite the moment that left no doubt for me. It was when McCarver, while doing commentary for FOX on a Mets game, Jose Reyes got on base and started his routine Dance Fever hosting antics on first base, and McCarver’s response was “He’s one of the most exciting players in the game.” Anyone that knows McCarver’s entire career as a player and commentator before then, and his baseball talks after he was done, knows that McCarver was never a fan of the ‘hotdog’ players. In fact, anyone that knew McCarver’s history could probably see an image like I did when McCarver said it. The image being: If Jose Reyes came up to the plate against Bob Gibson, we know that Tim would call a timeout, then walk to the mound to say, “Bob, put one in his ear.” And Bob would respond, “You didn’t need to tell me that because I already intended to. So take you’re %^&%$ back behind the plate!” Therefore, don’t blame McCarver for his commentary work that came after his Mets days. The game changed and he tried his best to adapt, even though it sacrificed some of who he truly was…old school with a wealth of baseball knowledge.
R.I.P. Tim! Watch out batter’s in the afterlife. Bob Gibson has his catcher coming!
Wow. I actually heard McCarver telling that story during a broadcast but perhaps I missed his opening and it was attributed to Marvelous Marv. Never knew
Very well stated and agree. I have to think that most broadcasters who were affiliated with local ballclubs were “coached” when they made appearances in national broadcasts. You may remember NBC’s penchant for having local broadcasters do some play by play during World Series broadcasts. As a Pirates fan, I was never a big fan of Bob Prince as too often, he spent more time telling personal anecdotes that relating what was going on in the game. But on those NBC broadcasts, he was almost unrecognizable, as he focused mostly on the game and banter with Gowdy
Fast forward to the era you write of and network coaching has become just as you say. It’s more like PR for MLB.
I liked McCarver. Joe Morgan. The superstation guys at TBS. They told it like it was and didn’t worry about selling tickets.
But now, it’s as if they’re all rehearsing to get their bits on Top Plays during SoortsCenter
My favorite Tim McCarver moment behind the microphone came in world series game 6 after David freese walked off in the 11th
McCarver said “how did this happen” while freese was getting his jersey ripped off
I remember another comment on Bob Gibson from McCarver’s autobiography (“Oh Baby I love it”) Tim went to the mound for a conference with Gibson, who said: “The only thing you know about good pitching is that you can’t hit it.”
R.I.P. Tim. You were one of the best.
Bob Ivy Jr
RIP Tim McCarver. You are one of the greatest Cardinals catcher in franchise history and also a great broadcaster. A 2 time World Series champion with the Cardinals (’64 & ’67). A Baseball Hall of Famer for broadcasting and a Cardinals Hall of Famer. You will be missed.
So very sad to hear this news. One of my favorite players and analysts. Rest in peace Tim. Not many remain from my favorite team.
Sorry to hear and read about this. Rest in Peace Tim ❤️
all in the suit that you wear
RIP. I really liked him.
A fine ballplayer and announcer. RIP Tim. As my Irish grandfather would say “You are a gentleman and a scholar.”
Rest in Peace. He did alright as a broadcaster for the World Series, at least he knew when the game had completely passed him and stepped away.
He was in the broadcast booth as late as September 2019…. only with the Cardinals.
Last game I saw him pregame I thought oh, he’s not looking to great… he seemed lost a few times, like the POTUS… to bad he doesn’t know when to step away
McCarver is a legend, RIP
Really? This is not the time for your politics, A great man died and you are bringing up nonsense.
Mendoza Line 215
Tim McCarver was a fine classy guy who was a good ball player and it was evident that he loved the game.
He was one of the very few players who had a stadium named after him,but that showed how respected he was.
R I P to a fine gentleman.
Count me in as one who very much liked him as a broadcaster. You hit a certain age in this country and people want you to go bye bye. I enjoyed his analysis and his obvious love of the game. RIP Timmy!!!
This one belongs to the Reds
Rest in peace, Tim. One of the ball players of my youth and an announcer after I got older. He was talented on both counts, as he let you know about the finer points of the game.
One of my earliest baseball memories was being at a game where he hit a grand slam.
I spent two years in the US in my youth in the early nineties and totally fell in love with baseball. When I rediscovered the game from afar in the mid-2000’s, the most familiar and understandable ‘experts’ were McCarver. and Joe Morgan.
I know he got some flack later in his career for narrative based broadcasting, but for me back at home in Europe, he was the perfect accompaniment to watching baseball via new-fangled internet streams or cable tv packages in the 2000’s before I sold my soul to mlb.tv in the 2010’s.
RIP. He, Gibson, Brock, Maris, Shannon, White, Boyer…all sharing stories now.
My bad, I’m having a day. I am killing off Bill White and Mike Shannon and both are very much alive…old man problems LOL
Who else you throwing under the bus?
RIP. The stories he could tell that were used as teaching tools. Catching Gibson and Carlton…
RIP Tim. I loved hearing the Al Michaels, Jim Palmer and Tim McCarver trio the most
Grew up with him calling the postseason. Rest in peace Tim!
You caught Bob Gibson Tim! Solid catcher and great voice in the broadcast booth! Long time Tiger fan who always respected you after 1968.
Rest in peace.
Loved him with Kiner back in the day but man that Joe Buck pairing. It must just be Joe Buck, he is the absolute worst. It was music to my ears when he left Fox and no more baseball and just one night of football now.
I remember McCarver telling how he went to the mound to talk to Gibson. Gibson told him to back behind the plate. The only thing you know about pitching is you can’t hit it.
Tim, knew the history of the game, loved the game and I loved him for that. I’m 71 years old, but in my mind, I can still see him squatting, in the catchers position, wearing that beautiful Cardinals uniform, in the Topps 1962 card set. one of the best looking cards in the set. we just lost one of the most knowledgable players of MLB!
When I think of baseball growing up in the early 2000’s him and Joe Buck is who I think. Coming home from baseball watching Saturday baseball on fox. Praying for the family
To say this shook me a little is an understatement. Never had the privilege of knowing him but his ability to story-tell and sometime self-depricating but still subtle confidence allowed for the viewer to feel they could dialogue with him. He was baseball’s father figure of sorts. No stranger to a reprimand if he disagreed with the state of the game but also quick to praise. Joe Buck and him were ‘the odd couple’ at first, grizzled vet paired with the upstart, son of a legendary broadcaster. He was gracious but firm allowing Joe to shine and really come into his own on a national stage. As a Padres fan, having the privilege of listening to him broadcast the 98′ WS I greatly appreciated his appreciation for Tony Gwynn and the opportunity for Gwynn to shine on a national stage. Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan are legends of a bygone era in baseball where complete games were the norm, the ‘save’ was a concept and free-agency was in its infancy. He bridged the gap from the Mad Men 60’s suave to a burgeoning Twitter scene and all the while bringing dignity to the game. Rest in Peace legend. The baseball community players and fans alike grieve your loss.
Like him or not he was one of the best Catchers of his era, And it was a pretty good era for C’s. Being a Chicago fan through and through I admit he got on my nerves but he was a class act and a good ambassador for Baseball. So I say RIP Tim.
Tim McCarver was among the very best announcers and truly an ambassador of the game. Rest In Peace Tim
My favorite broadcaster throughout the 80’s and 90’s. He came up with many memorable quotes during those seasons. RIP, Tim
One of a few catchers to lead the league in TRIPLES
Carlton Fisk is the only other one I can think of. And Fisk’s was a tie.
Say what you will about his time with Joe Buck, but they were an iconic duo. Their voices would forever by synonymous with playoffs baseball in the 2000s.
Expo Great! RIP
Always enjoyed his broadcasts and to me at least, he was representative of a time where the insights of broadcasters made the game much more enjoyable.
Gowdy, Kubek, Jack and Joe Buck, Scully, Garagiola, Harry Kalas, McCarver….they remind me of my youth. They brought the game to life for viewers or listeners
Always thought Tim McCarver would have been an excellent manager. I know he debated it a few times but never pulled the trigger. Great, great baseball
As a young child listening to him for 2 hours a night calling Mets games, he became as good a friend that anyone could hope for.
Sad day. RIP Tim. May God’s supernatural love and peace find friends, fans and family in their time of need.
Great photo of a bygone era. Rest in Peace.
You’re a real class act Deon
Surprised it took this long to be mentioned. Did they ever mend fences?
Without doubt, the best prepared analyst of his generation. Nothing got by him. A great guy and a perfect 4 for 4 in All-Star games!
Pitchers did this.
So sad to read this. He was always one of my favorites, both as a player and a broadcaster. RIP Tim.
RIP Tim even though I got the itch for baseball in Houston I grew up in PA and heard him broadcast plenty, my thoughts go to your family! Great catcher and broadcaster!
Oh, those bases on balls …
Classic McCarver line. RIP.
R.I.P. Tim McCarver love your voice on a lot of baseball games, u knew your baseball. Will miss hearing them.
What a fine ball player and what an announcer. Maybe the most knowledgeable announcer ever. Kind of funny to hear people complain about him. But that’s baseball. We will miss him.
He was great with the Mets but unbearable to me on FOX. Joe Buck didn’t help either. Excellent historian.
Before my time as a player but he called many an important game as a broadcaster during my youth through my adulthood. RIP Mr. McCarver…
Didn’t care for him.
Always talked down to his audience and couldn’t shut the deuce up in the process.
Let’s not forget the time he let Curt Flood twist in the wind on his own during Flood’s fight against the reserve clause when he and McCarver were traded to the Phillies.
While Mr. Flood recieved massive blowback from the Phillies and MLB, McCarver loudly told the Phillies “Tell them I’m Happy To be aboard” Tickled me when Deon Sanders punked him out in the Braves locker room years later when the broadcasting McCarver criticized him.
You’re entitled to your opinions but I argue today is not the right day to express them.
The Old-Timer. Voice of the Cards for some time. Sad to see him pass.
Just saw him on MLB Network today with Joe Torre talking about the 2001 world series. He was a great voice. Rest Easy. Condolences
rest in Peace Tim.
I always enjoyed watching him as a player. And I didn’t see anyone mention it. But he was one of the few players who played in 4 decades. A clutch hitter. And a informative broadcaster. He always added information that you didn’t know. And insight into the game. He will be missed.
Caught Bob Gibson AND Carlton. Amazing.
But then again, so did Bob Ueker and Dave Ricketts
Mets broadcasting royalty from the 20th century – all gone. Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner, and Tim McCArver all broadcast Met World Series victories. It’s a sad day for Met fans and baseball
My favorite player (1962 Topps card) and the reason I became a Cardinal fan throughout the 60’s.
Solid player (Carlton’s Designated Catcher for the Phillies) and even better announcers. Understated announcer with a sense of humor. RIP
McCarver, Kiner and Zabriskie covering the Mets from 83-89 were a great broadcast team. They were a big part of my childhood. Thank you Tim RIP
Even tho as a Cub fan I was swore to hate him, when he would tell stories or get around Ueck and tell stories & jokes of the old days, I was left in stitches. Tim had this amazing way of setting a scene and putting you right there, sharing his experience. I’ll never forget that or him. R.I.P. Tim, you were the voice of a generation of baseball fans
An embarrassment in the broadcast booth and a person who was both out of touch with the current game and the current state of the world he lived in. Any game where he was on the microphone became immediately unlistenable. He will not be missed.
Finally!! Another perspicacious soul who dares to defy this deification of McCarver!
He wanted to be Joe Garagiola but he didn’t have a folksy bone in his body!!
Spent his career bragging how he was Bob Gibson’s whipping boy and this supposed rough tough character sure wimped out against Sanders in the Braves’ celebratory clubhouse.
“You’re a real man, Dion” was all he could whiningly utter in retaliation.
Phoney personified, baby!!
Really wimped out against Dion; he showed class and professionalism where Dion did his Will Smith impersonation. Let’s see if you could have caught for 21 years in the ML.
Dion a pro football player and baseball player was the wimp attacking a man 36 years older than himself, wow real brave.
McCarver hit it right on the head “You’re a real man, Dion” because he showed what a classless dude Dion is.
Everyone from the first half of my life is about gone. Even though it was obvious that it’d happen, now that we’ve gotten to the point it’s horribly depressing.
Now is your chance to share with the younger generations so they may benefit from your experiences.
I agree & do when I can.
Agree 100%, although I’ve seen more yesterdays than I ever will tomorrows. Between musical acts, movie stars and athletes passing on, you’re right, it kind of feels like a little bit of your own youth is gone, too
My one time Mc carver story. After a game he walked out to Larry Christiansens’ car. Larry signed autographs, Tim ignored us and proceeded to open up a Rolling Rock beer and pound it down. I thought it was funny.
I enjoyed watching Tim McCarver play despite being a Cub fan at the time. I respected his catching and thought he called a good game.
His days in the booth were a bit less rewarding to me. The “Master of the Obvious” was a nickname he picked up and the more I watched him in the booth, the better I understood why he got the nickname.
Overall, he made a great contribution to baseball and deserves to be honored. Tim, RIP and thank you for your years in baseball. I am one of the many that enjoyed watching you play the game.
Rip Tim you were a pretty darn good mlb catcher .Your stories about legendary Cardinal coach/Pilots manager Joe Schultz were hilarious. I hope you two are up there enjoying the post game spread and “Pounding the ol’ Budweiser “.
RIP Tim. I don’t understand the negative comments about his broadcasting. He always seemed very knowledgeable and I enjoyed hearing his insights. He could tell a story too!
RIP. He had a deep love for the game. I remember him in the booth for some cardinal games, and he was a great story teller, and I really enjoyed a lot of the Gibson stories along the way. I do understand where some are coming from though, especially those that think he did it for too long. He definitely fell off at the end, especially struggling with player names, etc. but provided many fond memories. You could tell in the current stages of the game he was a little behind but as quick as can be when recalling some story from the 60s.