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Legendary Major League Player, Broadcaster Tim McCarver Dies at 81

 Matt Tallarini  |    Feb 17th, 2023 1:55pm EST

ABC broadcaster and former baseball player Tim McCarver talks with Commissioner Fay Vincent prior to the start of a Major League Baseball game circa 1990 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City. McCarver died on Feb. 16, 2023 at age 81. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Tim McCarver died at the age of 81 Thursday in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn.  

The cause of death was heart failure. McCarver was a two-time All-Star catcher and two-time World Series champion with the St. Louis Cardinals, and made stops in Philadelphia, Montreal, and Boston during his 21-year major league career. 

McCarver retired to the broadcast booth after the 1980 season, and called 24 World Series and 20 All-Star Games for ABC, FOX, and CBS during his broadcasting career. McCarver broadcasted local games for the Phillies (1981-82), New York Mets (1983-98), Yankees (1999-2001), and San Francisco Giants (2002), and was Jack Buck’s play-by-play partner on national telecasts with CBS in 1990 and 1991 and then with his son, Joe Buck, on FOX from 1996 to 2013.  

McCarver was inducted in 2010 into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame at Foley’s, the legendary baseball pub in Manhattan, and he received the Ford C. Frick Award during 2012 at the National Baseball Hall Of Fame for his 32 years in the booth. 

McCarver continued to broadcast with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2014 season through 2019. Even though McCarver never formally announced his retirement from the broadcast booth, he never returned to media after the 2019 season because he wanted to protect himself from Covid-19. McCarver hosted “The Tim McCarver Show” from 2000 to 2017, which featured interviews with sports figures from around the world. 

McCarver was in the booth with Al Michaels and Jim Palmer in 1989 when the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake struck minutes before Game 3 of the World Series between the Giants and the Oakland A’s at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. McCarver, who was analyzing Game 2 for ABC when the earthquake struck, could be heard fumbling his words before Michaels broke in and announced that they had witnessed an earthquake. Major League Baseball ended up postponing the World Series, which resumed 12 days later, with Oakland sweeping the Series.

In the 1964 World Series against the Yankees, McCarver shined at the plate, going 11-for-23 with five RBIs and a home run that broke a tied score in the 10th inning of Game 5. McCarver had his most success in catching two of his era’s most difficult pitchers, Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton. In 1968, with McCarver as his primary battery mate, Gibson posted an astounding 1.12 ERA, which is still a live-ball era record. That same year, Gibson set a World Series record by striking out 17 batters in one game against the Tigers.

McCarver batted .271 with 97 home runs and 645 RBI’s during his 21-year Major League career.  

McCarver is survived by his daughters Kathy and Kelley, and grandchildren Leigh and Beau.

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Matt Tallarini
Matthew (Matt) Tallarini is the Founder and Chief Correspondent for the World Baseball Network. Matt played semi-professional baseball with the Pelham Mets in Pelham, New York for four years, including the 2018 Semi Pro World Series. During the pandemic, Matt began engaging with international baseball, as a way to keep connected to the sport. Matt created the World Baseball Network and its signature website, WorldBaseball.com as a way to promote and inform similar likeminded fans about the players, teams and leagues innovating the sport of baseball and feeding into Major League Baseball (MLB). As a result of Matt’s efforts, World Baseball Network is now the benchmark standard for international baseball coverage, including MLB, MiLB, NCAA, Korea, Japan, Caribbean, Baseball United, WBC, WBSC and more. In a short time, Matt has interviewed a who’s who of global baseball legends and coaches. These include: Former Yankee closer Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera; Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman; former Yankee Luis Sojo veteran of four Yankee World series teams; Mickey Callaway former MLB manager; Paul Mainieri LSU National Championship coach; Eric Holtz manager Team Israel of the 2020 Olympics; Ian Kinsler former MLB player and now Israel national team player; Harold Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays formerly with the Indians and Cubs; Joey Meneses of the Washington Nationals; and Mike Cameron current USA Baseball advisor former-MLB outfielder. Matt Tallarini is 2015 graduate of Mitchell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a 2022 graduate of Iona University with a Masters in Finance. Since its inception, Matt has been the Chief Correspondent for World Baseball Network. Matt has interviewed and interacted with many international players and coaches including former Yankee closer Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, former Yankee Luis Sojo veteran of four Yankee World series teams, Mickey Callaway former MLB manager, Paul Mainieri LSU National Championship coach, Eric Holtz manager Team Israel of the 2020 Olympics, Ian Kinsler former MLB player and now Israel national team player, Harold Ramirez of the Tampa Bay Rays formerly with the Indians and Cubs, Joey Meneses of the Washington Nationals, Mike Cameron current USA Baseball advisor former-MLB outfielder. Matthew is 2015 graduate of Mitchell College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and a 2022 graduate of Iona University with a Masters in Finance.