Tim McCarver

  • All-Star selection (1966, 1967)
  • World Series champion (, )
  • Tim McCarver
    Born: October 16, 1941 (1941-10-16) (age 70)
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Batted: Left Threw: Right 
    MLB debut
    September 10, 1959 for the St. Louis Cardinals
    Last MLB appearance
    October 5, 1980 for the Philadelphia Phillies
    Career statistics
    Batting average     .271
    Hits     1,501
    Runs batted in     645
    Career highlights and awards

    James Timothy "Tim" McCarver (born October 16, 1941) is an American former Major League Baseball catcher, and a current sportscaster in residence for Fox Sports.

    Playing career

    McCarver was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He began his playing career after being signed by the St. Louis Cardinals from Christian Brothers High School in Memphis in [[ in baseball|]]. He hit .359 that year while splitting time between the Cardinals' minor league teams in Keokuk and Rochester and, though just 17 years old, was briefly called up to the Cardinals.

    He spent the [[ in baseball|]], [[ in baseball|]], and [[ in baseball|]] seasons shuttling between St. Louis and the minor leagues in places like Memphis, Charleston, West Virginia and Atlanta. In [[ in baseball|]], he was called up to the majors for good.

    St. Louis Cardinals

    In [[ in baseball|]], his tiebreaking home run in the 10th inning won Game 5 of the World Series. In [[ in baseball|]], 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 [[ in baseball|]], 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.

    Later career

    After a trade to Philadelphia involving, among others, his teammate Curt Flood (which led to Flood's dramatic lawsuit challenging 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 then-rookie Keith Hernandez). McCarver's late playing and broadcasting career might have taken a different turn in [[ in baseball|]], when, according to Peter Gammons, McCarver (then 33 and Boston's third-string catcher) was rumored as a potential managerial replacement for struggling Red Sox skipper Darrell Johnson. But McCarver was released (to return to the Phillies), and Johnson went on to lead the Red Sox to the '75 AL pennant.[1]

    During his first stint with the Phillies, McCarver caught Rick Wise's no-hitter on June 23, [[ in baseball|]].[2] At the end of the season, the Phillies traded Wise to the Cardinals for Steve Carlton, the deal reuniting McCarver with Carlton. During the [[ in baseball|]] 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. [3]

    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 [[ in baseball|]] season to begin a broadcasting career. McCarver briefly returned to duty in September [[ in baseball|]] thus becoming one of the few players in baseball history to play in four different decades (1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s).