Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, July 22, 2010

1976 Topps #502 - Tim McCarver


  • Tim McCarver was one of those rare "four decade" players. He played in the majors from 1959-1980. Tim was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959 at the age of 17 and played in the minors from 1959-1962. McCarver had brief stints with the Cardinals in 1959 (.167 in 24 at bats), 1960 (.200 in 10 at bats), and 1961 (.239 in 67 at bats).
  • In 1963 Tim became the regular catcher for the Cardinals and held the position through the 1969 season. McCarver batted .289 in 127 games in 1963 and .288 in 143 games in 1964. Tim had a great World Series in 1964, batting .478 in 23 at bats. McCarver had a great relationship with pitcher Bob Gibson while he was with the Cardinals.
  • Tim played in 113 games in 1965 and batted .276 with 11 HR. Laughing Boy McCarver - December 1965 Baseball Digest. McCarver played in 150 games in 1966 and led the NL with 13 triples while batting .274 and hitting 12 HR. Tim was on the NL All Star team in 1966. In the bottom of the 10th Tim singled, went to second on a sacrifice by Ron Hunt, and scored the winning run on a single by Maury Wills.
  • McCarver had what was probably his best year in 1967. He finished second to teammate Orlando Cepeda in NL MVP voting and made the NL All Star team (he went 2 for 2 with a double). Tim batted .295 with 14 HR and 69 RBI during the regular season. McCarver batted only .125 in the World Series but the Cardinals still won the series in seven games. Backbone of the Cards - September 1967 Baseball Digest.
  • In 1968 McCarver batted .253 in 128 games. The Cardinals went to the World Series again (they lost in seven games) and Tim batted .333. The Pip Who Won't Be Pipped - May 1968 Baseball Digest. McCarver batted .260 in 138 games in 1969. After the 1969 season Tim was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies as part of the famous Curt Flood deal.
  • McCarver was injured on May 2 and missed four months of the 1970 season. He batted .287 in 44 games in 1970. Tim came back in 1971 and batted .278 in 134 games. It was his last season as a regular catcher.
  • In 1972 Tim started with the Phillies and was batting .237 in 45 games when he was traded to the Montreal Expos for John Bateman on June 14. McCarver finished the 1972 season with the Expos and batted .251 in 77 games. After the 1972 season Tim was traded back to the Cardinals for Jorge Roque.
  • McCarver split time between catcher and first base in 1973. He batted .266 in 130 games in 1973. Tim wasn't getting much playing time with the Cardinals in 1974. He batted .217 in 106 at bats and was sold to the Boston Red Sox on September 1. He batted .250 in 28 at bats for the Red Sox to finish the 1974 season.
  • Tim started the 1975 season with the Red Sox as the third-string catcher. He wasn't getting much playing time (.381 in 12 games) and was released on June 23. McCarver was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies on July 1 and batted .254 in 47 games. For the remainder of his career Tim became the "personal catcher" for Steve Carlton.
  • In 1976 Tim batted .277 in 90 games as a backup catcher and pinch hitter. He had an infamous moment on July 4 when he hit a game-winning "Grand Slam single" -- he passed Garry Maddox on the basepaths while running out the homer and it became a single. Tim was 0 for 4 in two games in the 1976 NLCS.
  • McCarver batted .320 in 169 at bats in 1977 and was 1 for 6 in the NLCS. In 1978 Tim batted .247 in 146 AB and was 0 for 4 with two walks and two runs scored in the NLCS.
  • Tim batted .241 in 137 at bats in 1979 and was released after the season. Tim McCarver: Twenty Years Behind the Mask - December 1979 Baseball Digest. On September 1, 1980 McCarver was signed by the Phillies and went 1 for 5 in six games as a pinch hitter and first baseman.
  • After his playing career McCarver went on to become a broadcaster. He has broadcast for four major television networks and is now a broadcaster for FOX sports. Tim also has a nationally syndicated interview show (The Tim McCarver Show). He also recently released an album of jazz standards (">Tim McCarver Sings Songs from the Great American Songbook).
  • Liked to face: Reggie Cleveland (.519 in 27 AB); Bob Friend (.462 in 26 AB); Sammy Ellis (.452 in 31 AB)
  • Hated to face: Dan McGinn (.000 in 9 AB); Al Jackson (.091 in 22 AB); Jim Brewer (.095 in 21 AB)

Old promo clip from 1980


  1. The great yankee hater - please retire and give a younger man your job

  2. Don't get me started on the legitimacy of McCarver's "4-decade" status.

    He was washed up after 1979, and spent the 1980 season broadcasting Phillies games, only to suit up when rosters expanded in September, and appeared in a few games.

    This was nothing more than a personal grab for membership in a group that was legitimately achieved by Ted Williams, Jim Kaat, and a few others. (At least someone didn't bring him back every 10 years for a cameo appearance, like Minnie Minoso!)