From the Baseball Hall of Fame:
COOPERSTOWN, NY – Tim McCarver, who has served as a national analyst on networks for three decades and simultaneously shined as part of broadcast teams with four big league clubs, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
McCarver becomes the second primary television analyst to win the Frick Award, joining Tony Kubek, who received the honor in 2009. McCarver will be honored as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2012, July 20-23, in Cooperstown, New York.
“Tim McCarver has been the face and voice of baseball’s biggest moments on national television,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “His wit and intuition, combined with his passion for the game and his down-home style, delivers a trusted insight for viewers. Tim’s journey in reaching baseball broadcasting’s highest honor has connected generations of New York Mets fans as well as audiences across the country for more than 30 years.”
Born Oct. 16, 1941 in Memphis, Tenn., McCarver was a gifted high school athlete who signed with the St. Louis Cardinals after graduation in 1959. Scouted by Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey, McCarver debuted in the major leagues the year he signed at the age of 17, and by 1963 was the Cardinals’ starting catcher. The next season, McCarver helped the Cardinals win the World Series title, hitting .478 in St. Louis’ seven-game victory over the Yankees.
McCarver remained with the Cardinals through 1969, earning two All-Star Game selections while finishing second in the National League MVP voting in 1967. That season, McCarver and the Cardinals won the World Series, and the following year St. Louis again won the National League pennant. McCarver was traded to the Phillies following the 1969 season and spent 11 more seasons in the majors with the Red Sox, Expos, Cardinals and Phillies. He retired following the 1980 season.
Almost immediately after his retirement, McCarver began calling Phillies games for WPHL in Philadelphia. He moved on to the Mets in 1983, where he worked at WOR as the team’s primary television analyst through 1998. During this time, McCarver debuted on NBC’s Game of the Week before serving on ABC’s baseball coverage from 1984-89.
When CBS took over the World Series package in 1990, McCarver teamed with Jack Buck – the 1987 Frick Award winner – and later Sean McDonough from 1990-93. He broadcast national games on The Baseball Network from 1994-95, before joining FOX in 1996 when that network took over the World Series rights. Throughout much of that time, McCarver continued to broadcast for teams, including the Yankees (1999-2001) and the Giants (2002). McCarver also covered the 1988 Winter Olympic Games for ABC and served as an anchor for CBS’s coverage of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games. He has won six national Emmy Awards for “Best Sportscaster/Analyst.”
McCarver will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 21 in Cooperstown, along with 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Bob Elliott, who was announced on Tuesday. Ron Santo, who was elected on Monday by the Golden Era Committee, will be inducted as part of Hall of Fame Ceremonies on July 22, along with any electees who emerge from 2012 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced Jan. 9.
McCarver was chosen from a list of 10 finalists selected in October, featuring three fan selections from an online vote and seven broadcasters chosen by a research committee from the Cooperstown-based museum. The final ballot contained a mix of pioneers and current-day broadcasters: Skip Caray, Rene Cardenas, Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Tim McCarver, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel and Mike Shannon. Cardenas, Doucet, McCarver, Nadel and Shannon were the living candidates. In September, a total of 37,212 votes were cast in the Museum’s online fan poll for inclusion on the final 10-name ballot, with Shannon, Cheek and Doucet as the top three fan poll selections.
The 20-member electorate, comprised of the 15 living Frick Award recipients and five broadcast historians/columnists, includes Frick honorees Marty Brennaman, Jerry Coleman, Gene Elston, Joe Garagiola, Jaime Jarrin, Milo Hamilton, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Jon Miller, Felo Ramirez, Vin Scully, Lon Simmons, Bob Uecker, 2011 Frick Award winner Dave Van Horne and Bob Wolff, and historians/columnists Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of NY Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian) and Curt Smith (historian).
The Ford C. Frick Award is voted upon annually and is named in memory of the sportswriter, radio broadcaster, National League president and Baseball commissioner.