McCarver wins Frick Award for broadcasting
Longtime catcher a mainstay on national TV, in postseason
DALLAS -- Tim McCarver, a former catcher and a longtime analyst on the national broadcast scene, won the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in Major League Baseball broadcasting, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday.McCarver is the second primary television analyst to win the Frick Award, joining Tony Kubek, who received the honor in 2009. "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 two-time World Series champion with the Cardinals in 1964 and '67. "I am deeply grateful and I am genuinely humbled by it." McCarver will be honored during the annual National Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend ceremonies on July 21-22 in Cooperstown, N.Y. Bob Elliott, of the Toronto Sun, was named the J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday, and he will also be honored that weekend.
Ron Santo, the legendary Cubs third baseman, was elected to the Hall on Monday by the Golden Era Committee, and Santo will be inducted along with any electee from the BBWAA ballot recently sent to eligible members of that organization.The BBWAA ballot winners will be announced on Jan. 9 by Hall president Jeff Idelson, with MLB.com simulcasting MLB Network's live coverage at 2 p.m. ET. "Tim McCarver has been the face and voice of baseball's biggest moments on national television," Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. "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." Among his many duties across the axis of three decades, McCarver was also an analyst for the Mets, Yankees and Phillies. His signature calls and opinions have been a major portion of the national scene on Game of the Week and postseason telecasts for NBC, CBS and FOX. McCarver's catching career spanned 21 seasons, beginning in 1959 as a 17-year-old for the Cardinals and ending in 1980 in Philadelphia, where he began the broadcasting portion of his career. He batted .271 with 57 homers and 645 RBIs for four teams, including the Cardinals and the Phillies twice. 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. "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," McCarver said. "It is translating that for the viewers. One of the hard things about television is staying contemporary and keeping it simple for the viewers." 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 emerged this year to win the Frick Award from a pool of 10 candidates, including Skip Caray, Rene Cardenas, Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Tim McCarver, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel and Mike Shannon.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).
Frick Award voters consider a number of criteria, including longevity, continuity with a club, honors, national assignments such as the World Series and All-Star Games, and popularity with fans.
To be considered, an active or retired broadcaster must have a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network or a combination of the two.
McCarver and Elliott will be honored at the Hall of Fame's awards presentation on July 21 at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. Santo and any electees who emerge from the BBWAA ballot will be inducted as part of regular Hall of Fame ceremonies on July 22 in a field adjacent to the Clark Sports Center.The two ceremonies were split for the first time this past July.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.