Frick Award

Tim McCarver

It seems that baseball’s award season isn’t really over as I suggested a week or so ago that it might be. Saw that they just gave the Ford Frick Award to Tim McCarver. This is the award for excellence in broadcasting (sort of a counterpoint to the Spink Award for writers). The list is posted in the Hall of Fame, so in one sense McCarver finally made the Hall of Fame.

I’m of two minds about McCarver as a broadcaster. I remember when he was good, really good. He brought fresh commentary, new ideas, a new sense of how the game was played to the color guy spot in the booth. I learned a lot about some of the inside on-field stuff from him. I remember him saying “the manager will send him here” and the manager sent the guy and other stuff like that. I loved his stories, especially the Bob Gibson tales (there were almost none about Steve Carlton, which sort of figures). 

But by now the act is getting old. I’ve heard all the stories a dozen times. In McCarver’s defense my wife has heard all mine at least that many times and probably more. He’s not as accurate as he used to be and he has trouble with getting the right words sometimes. I know the feeling, so I’ll give him a break on it. But maybe this should be the capstone of his career and he should ride off into the sunset (do color guys do that?) and enjoy a well-earned retirement. Whatever he does, congratulations to Tim McCarver for winning the Frick Award.

My favorite McCarver story about Gibson goes like this. Red Schoendienst, Cardinals manager, ordered an intentional walk. Gibson plunked the guy with the first pitch. McCarver goes out to the mound and asks what the heck was that all about? Gibson replies, “I just saved three pitches.” Don’t know that I believe all the stories, but that one I believe.


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3 Responses to “Frick Award”

  1. keithosaunders Says:

    I agree entirely with your take on McCarver. I moved to New York in 1984 and at that time he was doing color for the Mets, along with Ralph Kiner and Steve Zebriski. Actually, they would trade off, so sometimes he would do play by play. I used to love listening to McCarver in those days — he felt fresh and incisive. Now, like most network broadcasters, he seems watered down and middle of the road. His constant yammering is like nails on a chalkboard to me. And don’t even get me started on Buck, who I think is an abomination.

    It’s not as if network announcers have to be bad. Al Michaels, although I understand he is no day at the beach to work with, is still one of the best in the game. I always liked Costas, and I still like to listen to Marv.

    • verdun2 Says:

      personally always thought Costas the best of the network guys, but there’s just no one like Vin Scully.
      Thanks for commenting.

  2. William Miller Says:

    I have to agree with both of you gentlemen. Personally, I’m very tired of McCarver. He’s long since lost whatever he had. But congrats to him anyway.

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