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All-Star Catcher and Broadcaster Tim McCarver Dies at 81

His work in the broadcast booth brought him to the Baseball Hall of Fame

spinner image Tim McCarver, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' 1967 World Series championship team, takes part in a ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the victory before the start of a baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox on May 17, 2017, in St. Louis. McCarver, the All-Star catcher and Hall of Fame broadcaster who during 60 years in baseball won two World Series titles with the St. Louis Cardinals and had a long run as the one of the country's most recognized, incisive and talkative television commentators, died Thursday morning, Feb. 16, 2023, in Memphis, Tenn., due to heart failure, baseball Hall of Fame announced. He was 81.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo

Tim McCarver began his career in Major League Baseball as a catcher, playing mostly for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. But he is probably best known for his decades as a broadcaster, and that’s what led to his entrance into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

McCarver was known as a color man. While he sometimes called the balls and strikes, the announcer relished analyzing plays and wasn’t afraid to criticize the team he worked for.

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At 17, McCarver, a native of Memphis, began his professional career, which spanned about 60 years behind the plate and in the broadcast booth.

Not known as a powerhouse player, he nonetheless had some memorable statistics, such as leading the National League in triples in 1966 with the Cardinals, going to the All-Star game twice and winning two World Series championships. When he was catching for the Cards, the team won three National League pennants, and McCarver was a key figure in the team’s win over the Yankees in the 1964 World Series. In 1967, he finished second in the voting for the league’s Most Valuable Player.

As a broadcaster, McCarver worked with the legendary Ralph Kiner in the Mets’ booth, as well as for the Yankees and the San Francisco Giants. According to an obituary in The New York Times, McCarver was fired from his Mets job in 1999 after 16 seasons because of his candor in the booth. McCarver called 24 World Series games, his first for ABC in 1985 when he was a replacement for another sports broadcast icon who told it like it was: Howard Cosell.

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