Bob Costas and Tim McCarver. Tim McCarver and Bob Costas. Think about that. These two certainly know each other, but they’ve only worked together on a game twice. When you say? That was back in 1980 when Costas was a backup announcer on NBC’s MLB “Game of the Week” broadcast to Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek and had a rotating analyst. At the time, McCarver was a player-analyst with the Philadelphia Phillies and joined Costas in the booth.
You may not know that Costas and McCarver also called a World Series together. Well, a fictional World Series in the movie, “The Scout,” but since that was released in 1994, the year the World Series was cancelled due a players’ strike, we’ll facetiously count that as the year Costas and McCarver called the Fall Classic.
McCarver eventually joined the booth full-time with the Phillies, then went to the New York Mets, got his national work first with ABC with Al Michaels and Jim Palmer, then joined Fox in 1996 working with Joe Buck through the 2013 season.
Since 2014, McCarver has worked selected St. Louis Cardinals games on Fox Sports Midwest and hasn’t been seen nationally. Well, he’ll be back on the national stage this Thursday when he joins MLB Network as a guest analyst with Costas on the San Diego-St. Louis game.
In the MLB Network press release announcing the one-time and one time only pairing, Costas tells America:
“Over the past few years, we’ve looked for opportunities for interesting announcer pairings for the sheer enjoyment of it,” said Costas. “A few years ago, I did a game with my friend Al Michaels; last year it was Bob Uecker; this time, Tim McCarver. He and I have been friends for 35 years, dating to the two games we did together on NBC in 1980. While our paths have crossed zillions of times since then, and we’ve each worked too many games to count, this will be the first time we’ve worked together since. Let’s hope we’ve each learned a few things in the meantime.”
Of course, we have a quote from McCarver:
“One of the expressions that I abhor in baseball is ‘at this pace,’ and yet, at this pace, Bob and I will work together every 35 years,” said McCarver. “I’m delighted to be with Bob again, if only for one game.”
The way this is going, we’ll have games that pair Costas with his former NBC World Series partner Joe Morgan (we may have to run for the hills if that happens), Tony Kubek, and perhaps Pedro Strop. Ok, maybe that’s stretching it.