Tim McCarver has been a baseball broadcaster for over 30 years, but he still focuses on the little things.
“I found out early on about this side of my life when I retired,” McCarver said. “It is most important to get things right when talking about the game.”
McCarver has been named the 2012 Ford C. Frick Award winner for excellence in broadcasting. He will receive the award July 21 at the Awards Presentation during Hall of Fame Weekend, July 20-23 in Cooperstown.
“This honor, coming on the heels of one of the greatest World Series ever played between the Cardinals and Rangers makes this particularly satisfying and it feels so right,” said McCarver, who was a long-time catcher and two-time World Series champion with the Cardinals. “I am deeply grateful and I am genuinely humbled by it.”
McCarver spent 21 seasons as a big league catcher, earning two All-Star Game bids and finishing second in MVP voting in 1967. He caught for Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton.
“I think there is a natural bridge from being a catcher to talking about the view of the game and the view of the other players,” said McCarver. “It is translating that for the viewers. One of the hard things about television is staying contemporary and keeping it simple for the viewers.”
McCarver served as a national analyst on networks NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX as well as broadcasting with four big league clubs and the The Baseball Network. He began calling games for the Phillies almost immediately following his retirement from his playing career in 1980.
“I was hired by Bill Giles and in 1977 he told me that when my playing days were over, there would be a spot for me in the broadcast booth,” said McCarver. “I was very fortunate to get into the business at the time of Andy Musser, Harry Kalas, Chris Wheeler and the irrepressible Richie Ashburn – guys that were so thoughtful in teaching me the business and what my job was as a former player and ultimately an analyst.”
McCarver called himself blessed to be attached to the teams he has worked with, including the Phillies, Mets, Yankees and Giants. Fans may know him best from his national work – including teaming with Joe Buck on Fox.
“When they asked me if there was any person I wanted to let know before the announcement became public, I didn’t hesitate to say Joe Buck,” said McCarver. “Joe Buck was the only person that was called and speaking with him this morning helped make this day very special.”
McCarver has been to Cooperstown a number of times, but only once for Induction Weekend. He attended in 1994 to watch as his former batterymate Steve Carlton and Yankees shortstop and fellow broadcaster Phil Rizzuto were enshrined into the Hall of Fame.
“That weekend made an indelible impression about how important the Hall of Fame was in so many lives,” said McCarver. “Seeing all the Hall of Famers on stage – that was a magnetic experience for me.”
McCarver will be honored along with 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Bob Elliott during Hall of Fame Weekend that will feature the induction of Barry Larkin and Ron Santo.
McCarver is an active broadcaster with no concrete plans for retirement.
“I am working on a one-year contract,” said McCarver. “I still love what I do. I have always tried to be myself. I think I’ve been successful at that."
2012 Ford C. Frick Award Winner Tim McCarver (FOX/National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)