The retirement of Tim McCarver at the conclusion of the 2013 World Series will draw to a close a long and rich baseball career. This generation knows McCarver as the broadcaster, but his 21 year career stretched over four decades. While statistically McCarver will not got down as one of the greatest catchers of all time, his knowledge of the game and ability to relate to anyone watching a game on television will long be remembered. The Ford C. Frick Award winner understands the game of baseball like few others. When you heard Tim McCarver broadcasting the game you knew it was important.
The world has changed a great deal since September 10, 1959 when a 17 year old Tim McCarver made his Major League debut by pinch hitting for Marshall Bridges in the ninth inning in a 7 to 4 St. Louis Cardinals lose against the Milwaukee Braves. McCarver flied out to rightfield, where Hank Aaron caught the ball to end the game.
Here is a small sample of what has occurred since Tim McCarver made his Major League debut:
MLB Teams added: 14 (16 teams in 1959) (Mets, Expos/ Nationals, Marlins, Brewers, Astros, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Padres, Angels, Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers, Royals)
# American Presidents: 11 (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama)
Presidential Elections: 14
US Amendments to the Constitution: 5 (Amendments 23-27)
# of new countries: 95 (Including, but not limited to: Jamaica, Kenya, Singapore, Bahamas, Ukraine, Kosovo)
Number of People in Space: 534 (0 when he debuted)
Number of Days (through October 31, Game 7): 19,410
Love him or hate him, the baseball life of Tim McCarver has been one which has seen the sport and the world change in ways never imagined. His voice and influence will be missed.