Memory is weird. In my head, Bob Costas and Tim McCarver called a lot of games together for NBC’s Game of the Week back when the Game of the Week was a big deal. In reality, they hardly did at all. Last time: in 1980, and then only for a couple of games.
Costas handled play-by-play for NBC from 1982-89. McCarver, only for a short time as a backup guy. He was more prominent on ABC’s Monday Night Baseball, the ill-fated Baseball Network joint venture in the 90s, his team-specific work for the Mets and other clubs and, of course, as the national color guy for Fox for years and years and years. Ships in the night, Costas and McCarver, but depending on how you categorize Vin Scully and Jack Buck — who I consider team guys more than national guys even if they did both — Costas and McCarver are probably the number one national play-by-play and color guys of their era, respectively.
Costas has gone on to do many other things like the Olympics, football, talk shows and the like, but baseball remains his first love. He does periodic play-by-play for MLB Network. McCarver has gone into semi-retirement, in which he (a) does a handful of Cardinals games; and (b) sits back and smiles as we all smack our heads for ever thinking that no one could be worse than him on the national Fox games.
Now, for the first time in 35 years, they’re going to call a game together this Thursday:
Hall of Fame award-winning broadcaster Tim McCarver will join MLB Network’s Bob Costas to call the MLB Network Showcase telecast of the San Diego Padres at St. Louis Cardinals this Thursday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
People have strong opinions about broadcasters and, at various times, Costas, McCarver and everyone else who has ever called a game has been criticized. But it’s unquestionable that these two are two of the best ever and listening to them call a game together will be a treat.