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Tim McCarver has died at age 81

Longtime major league catcher and broadcaster Tim McCarver has died at the age of 81

Phillies Tim McCarver Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Tim McCarver, former major league catcher and longtime MLB broadcaster, has passed away, it was announced today. McCarver was 81.

McCarver made his major league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959, when he was just 17, and spent brief parts of the 1960 and 1961 seasons in the majors as well. He got to the big leagues for good in 1963, becoming the everyday catcher for the Cards that year, and didn’t retire until 1980, making him one of the rare players to have played in a span that covers four different decades.

McCarver’s best year was 1967, when he put up a 6.0 bWAR for a Cardinals team that ended up beating the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. McCarver was named to the All Star Team and finished second in the National League MVP balloting.

While McCarver is predominantly associated with the Cardinals, he also had two stints with the Philadelphia Phillies, as well as brief stints with the Boston Red Sox and the Montreal Expos. I remember McCarver as a Phillie, since that was where he was in the late-70s, when I was first collecting baseball cards and reading box scores.

McCarver started doing broadcasts in 1980, and was a regular member of national baseball broadcasts for most of the past four decades. McCarver received the Ford C. Frick Award in 2012.