Tim McCarver is stepping down from his job at Fox after this baseball season. (Associated Press )
Legendary baseball broadcaster Tim McCarver is stepping down from his job as Fox's lead baseball analyst after this season.
A former catcher with the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies, McCarver has held the job since 1996, when the network acquired rights to broadcast the national pastime. He has also covered games for NBC, CBS and ABC and spent many years calling New York Mets games.
“Although I am neither tired of broadcasting baseball nor have I in any way lost my interest in baseball, with which I have been associated as a player and broadcaster for 55 years, it’s time to cut back," McCarver said in a statement. On a conference call with reporters, McCarver added the decision was "not a tough call" nor a "sad thing."
Occasionally criticized for being long-winded and dwelling on details, he is also considered one of the sharpest analysts to have covered the game.
“McCarver lives up to John Madden’s credo for great sports analysis – the great ones tell you what you’re seeing, but not seeing," said David Hill, the former chairman of Fox Sports who is now a senior executive at parent company News Corp. "His knowledge and love for the game is going to take a long time to be equaled. He leaves big shoes to fill.”
Fox is leaving the door open to McCarver to come back and do work for the network and its soon-to-launch Fox Sports 1 cable channel. McCarver said he didn't know whether he would take up the offer.
"I want to travel to Italy and take cooking classes there," McCarver said, adding his health is fine. "I plan on living a very long life."
Joe Buck, who worked side-by-side with McCarver, said, "He's every bit as important to me as my dad." Buck's dad was sports broadcaster Jack Buck, who also worked with McCarver.
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