Tim McCarver, an Emmy-winning broadcaster and all-star catcher in his playing days, will leave his position as Fox's lead baseball analyst at year's end, Fox Sports announced on Wednesday.
McCarver has worked 28 consecutive postseasons on network TV and been a fixture of Fox's baseball coverage since 1996, announcing games alongside Joe Buck.
"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. "Since 1996, my time with Joe Buck has been filled with some of the most memorable moments in the game's magnificent history."
The former St. Louis Cardinal started his broadcasting career after retiring from the sport in 1979. He played for two decades, beginning his career with the Cardinals and also playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox. He won two World Series titles and made two All-Star teams, all while playing for the Cardinals.
His broadcasting career began in Philadelphia, and he went on to call games for all four major broadcast networks. Carver worked at ABC with Al Michaels and Jim Palmer, and at CBS with Buck's father Jack Buck.
He will conclude his run as lead analyst with the 2013 World Series, a fitting coda to a playing and broadcasting career that spans seven decades.
"Tim's longevity as a lead network analyst is the result of hard work and his commitment to provide the best, honest analysis possible, and his decision to step down came as a surprise to us," said ox Sports co-president and COO Eric Shanks said in a statement. "On behalf of everyone at FOX Sports and generations of baseball fans, David (Hill), Ed (Goren), Randy (Freer) and I would like to thank Tim for everything he has done for FOX since 1996 and baseball over the last 55 years. We're just glad we get to enjoy his friendship and savor his expertise one more season."
Though McCarver has been criticized for verbal gaffes, his experience and knowledge are irrefutable. He has worked 23 World Series and 20 All-Star Games – the only MLB analyst to work for all four broadcast networks.
"It was my great fortune to be paired with Tim as a kid back in 1996," Buck said in a statement. "It gave me instant credibility and helped shaped my career. Tim is the best ever to do what he does, the ultimate professional and the best first-guesser in the history of this business."