Tim McCarver: Looking back at Phillies career of broadcasting great

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tim McCarver, the Hall of Fame broadcaster who had two different stints with the Philadelphia Phillies, died Thursday. He was 81.

McCarver played in MLB from 1959 to 1980 and won two World Series titles with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Following his baseball career, McCarver became a three-time Emmy-Award-winning television color commentator and called a then-record 23 World Series and 20 All-Star games. 

McCarver also played with the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox. 

During the 21-year stretch of his playing career, McCarver spent nine years with the Phillies as a catcher. His first stint with the Phillies was from 1970-72, and then he played in Philly from 1975-1980. 

McCarver was on the Phillies when they made three straight NLCS appearances from 1976-1978. 

McCarver also started his broadcast career in Philadelphia at WPHL-17, where he teamed up with Richie Ashburn and Harry Kalas for Phillies games. 

In his first stint with the Phillies, McCarver caught Rick Wise’s no-hitter on June 23, 1971. 

The Phillies traded Wise to the Cardinals for Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton, which reunited him with McCarver, who played with each other in St. Louis. 

But McCarver and Carlton being reunited on the Phillies was short-lived.

McCarver was traded in the 1972 season to the Expos, and he caught the second of Bill Stoneman’s two career no-hitters. 

McCarver later returned to the Phillies after he was released by the Red Sox and became the personal catcher for Carlton. 

Carlton preferred McCarver to Phillies regular catcher Bob Boone. McCarver often joked on broadcasts that he and Carlton would be buried 60 feet and 6 inches apart when they both died. 

McCarver retired after the 1979 season, but he returned briefly returned in the September of 1980 to become one of only 29 players in baseball history to date to appear in a Major League Baseball game in four different decades. 

John Middleton, the managing partner and CEO of the Phillies, released a statement about McCarver’s death.

“The Phillies are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Tim McCarver and extend our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, former teammates and colleagues,” Middleton said. “Tim joined the Phillies at the height of his career and returned for his final six seasons as a veteran leader, helping the club to three straight NLCS appearances and, ultimately, their first-ever World Series title. Following his playing career, fans throughout the world, including here in Philadelphia, listened to him describe their favorite team’s most iconic moments with professionalism and class. For Tim’s leadership, friendship and voice, the Phillies are forever grateful.”

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