The Top Moments of Tim McCarver's Career in Baseball

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2013

Photo Credit: The Golden Sombrero
Photo Credit: The Golden Sombrero

The retirement announcement of Mariano Rivera drew big headlines earlier this spring, and now another baseball legend will be calling it quits at the end of the upcoming season: Hall of Fame broadcaster Tim McCarver.


Tim McCarver just announced that this will be his last season on Fox. What a baseball life. Played in four decades. Called 23 WS, 20 ASGs.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 27, 2013


The 71-year-old McCarver has spent the past 53 years involved in professional baseball in one way or another. Here is a look at some of his more memorable moments as a player and broadcaster.


September 10, 1959: Big League Debut

With the 1959 season winding down, the Cardinals called up a then-17-year-old McCarver, who had just signed with the team a few months prior.

He hit .357 in 17 games at Triple-A Rochester before being promoted and made his big league debut on September 10 as a pinch-hitter. He picked up his first major league hit three days later, singling off of Cubs starter Glen Hobbie to lead off the game.


October 12, 1964: Game-Winning Home Run in World Series, Game 5

With the 1964 World Series tied at two games apiece between the Cardinals and Yankees, Game 5 would be a major swing game for the series.

Bob Gibson started for the Cardinals, and he threw a gem through eight innings, allowing five hits and no runs while striking out 12 as St. Louis led 2-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Mickey Mantle reached base on an error to open the frame, and the Yankees tied things up when left fielder Tom Tresh launched a two-run home run.

Yankees reliever Pete Mikkelsen ran into trouble in the top of the 10th, though, allowing the first two batters of the inning to reach before eventually surrendering a three-run home run to McCarver that proved to be the difference.

The Cardinals went on to win the series in seven games. It was the first of two rings that McCarver would win in his career.


1967: Second in NL MVP Voting

McCarver's other World Series ring came in 1967, when the Cardinals beat the Red Sox in seven games.

Teammate Orlando Cepeda was the unanimous NL MVP that season, but McCarver finished second in his only appearance on the MVP ballot. The then-25-year-old hit .295/.369/.452 with career bests of 14 home runs and 69 RBI. He did it while putting up a 6.6 WAR (h/t FanGraphs), as he was also a terrific defensive backstop.


1985: Calls His First World Series as Replacement For Howard Cosell

After the publishing of his controversial book I Never Played the Game, ABC removed Howard Cosell from the booth for the 1985 World Series and cut ties with him shortly thereafter.

As a result, McCarver got the nod to announce the 1985 World Series as a last-minute replacement for the legendary Cosell.

McCarver had served as a field reporter for the 1984 NLCS, but this was his first of what would be many instances calling the World Series.


1996: First Season Pairing Joe Buck and Tim McCarver on Fox Sports

The broadcast team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver has been the voice of baseball on Fox dating back to 1996. The two have held that post for the past 18 seasons now, and they've called everything from Mark McGwire's 62nd home run in 1998 to the Red Sox lifting of the Curse of the Bambino.


2003: Announces Record 13th World Series

In the booth for the Yankees and Florida Marlins World Series matchup in 2003, McCarver set a record by broadcasting his 13th World Series on national television. He has since pushed that mark to 23 and will cap it off with his 24th and final call this October.


2010: Inducted into the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame

Located at Foley's NY Pub and Restaurant in Manhattan, the Irish-American Baseball Hall of Fame was founded in 2008 and has since had five induction classes.

McCarver was part of the third class of inductees, joining Bill James, King Kelly, Brian Cashman and Bob Murphy in receiving the honor that year.


2012: Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Last July, McCarver joined the ranks of the immortals, as he received the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting and was inducted into the broadcaster's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

He's been a polarizing figure throughout his time behind the mic, as it seems people either love or hate him. Regardless of where you stand, there is no denying the man has had an impressive baseball career and has been a significant part of the game for as long as some of us can remember.

Here's wishing Mr. McCarver all the best in his retirement, as his final year in the booth will kick off next week when the 2013 MLB season gets underway.