Tim McCarver has done his share of Baltimore Orioles’ games over the past few years as the team has come back from futility. As time has worn on we’d on occasion see the O’s on FOX, and being broadcast by McCarver and his partner Joe Buck, largely considered FOX’s national “A-Team.” However at the beginning of this season it was announced that it would be McCarver’s final one in the booth. In reading various online message boards, it appears to me that Tim McCarver isn’t the most popular among some of baseball’s younger fans for whatever reason. Speaking for myself (and I recognize at 32 I’m not in the “younger fans” bracket), I’ve always enjoyed his calls.
From his own experience as a player to his folks on-mic demeanor, McCarver is a character of the game that has always registered with me. I might even go so far as to say that he’s the “John Madden of baseball.” That might be pushing it a bit too far, but you get the point. McCarver is currently broadcasting his record 24th World Series, and his final one at that. McCarver was originally paired with Joe Buck back in 1996 – when the later of the two was only 26 years old. While the duo may have been a bit odd together at first due to their age difference, they quickly became one of the most widely recognized national broadcast team in the sport. (For the record I would still throw John Miller and Joe Morgan in there as the top team, but they haven’t been together for a few years.)
McCarver’s playing career spanned over four different decades, from 1959 until 1980. He played for five different franchses (including two different stints with the Phillies), was a career .271 hitter as a catcher, and a two-time all-star and world series champion. The first world series that he covered was in 1985 between the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals (incidentally, he was a last minute replacement for Howard Cosell).
I’ll be interested to see who FOX pairs with Buck starting next season. The way that their Saturday baseball coverage has gone of late, they’ve seemingly taken an analyst from one of the two teams’ broadcast crews and “rented” him for the day. Admittedly I was a fan of how FOX covered a 2012 game between the O’s and the Washington Nationals in DC, when they used Washington play-by-play man Bob Carpenter and paired him with Bill Ripken. It came across as a balanced broadcast on behalf of both teams. However that aside, McCarver should be saluted for his on-camera work over these years, and I’ll personally miss hearing him call games. Best wishes to him and his family moving forward.