If Tim McCarver hadn't been offered a pair of broadcasting contracts as his playing days were winding down in the late 1970s, he surmises he'd have gone off to law school -- and not been all that thrilled about it.
But the Philadelphia Phillies' president at the time, Bill Giles (with an assist from the Toronto Blue Jays), saw something in his loquacious backup catcher that told him he'd make an excellent analyst, and 30-plus years, thousands of hours of game calls, and mountains of accolades and awards later, the 71-year-old Tennessean has a place in baseball broadcasting history with his election this summer to the broadcaster's wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
McCarver and Joe Buck call the action when FOX broadcasts the 2012 World Series beginning Wednesday, Oct. 24.
McCarver, who played for the Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos from 1959 to 1980, describes his style of analysis as "first-guessing," or giving opinion on strategy before a play unfolds.
"I did a Yankee game back when Yogi [Berra] was [a coach]," McCarver tells Zap2it. "He said, 'How you liking that announcing?' I said, 'Ah, it's fine.' And he said, 'Now you can become a second-guesser like everybody else.' I said, 'No, Yogi, I'm not going to do that.'
"And that affected me," he says. "And I thought, 'I'm not sure how fair that is or how accurate that is from a player's standpoint, but I certainly don't want to be that way because I hated that as a player.' "
"So I thought, 'Take a different tack.' And the different tack was that if you don't talk about it before it happens, you really have no right to talk about it after it happens. And I thought, 'Well, what's a better way of describing that other than first-guessing?' "
Birth date: Oct. 16, 1941
Birthplace: Memphis, Tenn.
Current residence: Sarasota, Fla.
On the field: Won two World Series with the Cardinals in 1964 and '67; played in the '66 and '67 All-Star Games; batted .271 with 97 home runs and 645 runs batted in over his playing career
On the screen: Has called baseball for ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX; was the regular in-game analyst for the Phillies (1980-82), New York Mets (1983-98), New York Yankees (1999-2001) and San Francisco Giants (2002); hosts "The Tim McCarver Show" in syndication; has appeared in the movies "The Scout," "Mr. Baseball" and "BASEketball" and did a voice-over in "Moneyball"
Did you know? Had a minor league stadium named after him in Memphis
Favorite book: "Anything written by Peter Dexter."
Favorite movies: " 'Godfather 1 and 2,' 'Two for the Road.' "
Favorite musical artists: "Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim."
Photo/Video credit: Fox Sports