Scouted at age fifteen by Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey, who, at the time, was working for the St. Louis Cardinals, Memphis-reared Tim McCarver was a standout on both the gridiron and baseball diamond. After signing with the Cardinals in his senior year of high school, McCarver debuted with the Major League team as a seventeen year old in 1959, commencing a twenty-one year Major League career that would span four decades.
Earning the role of full-time catcher with the Cardinals in 1963, McCarver excelled at and behind the plate. In 1964, McCarver was the World Series’ Most Valuable Player, batting .478 and leading his team to a dramatic seven game triumph over the New York Yankees. From 1964-1969, McCarver developed lifelong friendships with Cardinals’ future Hall of Fame pitchers Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton, who respected his valued insights on opposing hitters.
McCarver starred in two more World Series, 1967 and 1968, before being traded, unexpectedly, to the Philadelphia Phillies at the 1969 season. After brief sojourns with the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, McCarver re-joined his old teammate Steve Carlton in Philadelphia and appeared in three consecutive National League Championship Series from 1976-1978. Early in the 1980 season, McCarver retired from the Phillies and Major League Baseball as one of only four players to play in four decades.
McCarver’s broadcast career started with the Philadelphia Phillies, almost immediately after his retirement as a player, but it wasn’t long before his talents were recognized by NBC and WOR, the superstation home of the New York Mets. Within two years, McCarver was doing double duty as the network’s Game of the Week baseball analyst and WOR’s everyday analyst of the New York Mets, becoming a mainstay in All-Star and World Series broadcasts. After leaving the Mets at the conclusion of the 1998 season, McCarver excelled as the New York Yankees broadcast analyst for three years, before serving the same role for the San Francisco Giants in 2002.
Over the past three decades, McCarver has worked as the lead baseball analyst for every network which has controlled Game of the Week and post-season rights: NBC, CBS, ABC and, currently, Fox. He has broadcast sixteen World Series and anchored the Albertville Winter Olympics of 1992 in prime time after covering individual events at the 1988 Games.
All four of McCarver’s books have been sports best-sellers, including this year’s “Diamond Gems,” published by McGraw-Hill and his previous three, published by Villard (Random House): “Oh, Baby, I Love it,” “Baseball for Brain Surgeons” and, “The Perfect Season.” His long and short-form radio show was heard throughout the United States in 1998-2000.
McCarver is now completing his twelfth year as the host of the award-winning Tim McCarver Show, which airs on broadcast stations in all Top 50 markets and more than 90% of the United States. The show is also seen throughout Canada.
In 2010, Tim won his fifth Telly award to add to his six national Emmy awards as “Best Sportscaster/Analyst.”