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Former Mets, Yankees voice Tim McCarver dies at 81

Tim McCarver, who had a 21-year playing career as a catcher and first baseman before becoming a revered television analyst for the Mets, Yankees and nationally, has died. He was 81.

McCarver played in over 1,900 games across four decades, mostly with the Cardinals and Phillies. He debuted for St. Louis near the end of the 1959 season and played a handful of games for Philadelphia in 1980. He also had stints with the Expos and Red Sox. McCarver was a career .271 hitter and a two-time All-Star. Known for serving as the personal catcher for Hall of Famers Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton, McCarver finished second in National League MVP voting in 1967 and won the World Series with the Cardinals in 1964 and ’67.

McCarver then had a nearly 40-year broadcasting career. He called games locally for the Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals and Giants. And it was his renowned work with the Mets than afforded him the opportunity to call games nationally for ABC, CBS and FOX. He called 23 World Series and 20 All-Star games. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a Ford C. Frick Award winner in 2012.

“Tim McCarver was an All-Star, a World Series Champion, a respected teammate, and one of the most influential voices our game has known,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “As a player, Tim was a key part of great Cardinals and Phillies teams in his 21-year career. In the booth, his analysis and attention to detail brought fans closer to our game and how it is played and managed. Tim’s approach enhanced the fan experience on our biggest stages and on the broadcasts of the Mets, the Yankees and the Cardinals. All of us at Major League Baseball are grateful for Tim’s impact on sports broadcasting and his distinguished career in our National Pastime. I extend my deepest condolences to Tim’s family, friends and the generations of fans who learned about our great game from him.”

James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.