ST. LOUIS - Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals announced Thursday that Tim McCarver, a legendary broadcaster and two-time World Series champion with the Cardinals, died today at age 81. Major League Baseball said McCarver’s cause of death was heart failure.

Tim McCarverMcCarver, who made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 1959, spent seven decades in professional baseball. That included a 21-year Major League playing career before transitioning into an award-winning broadcaster, whom many considered to be baseball’s version of football's John Madden. McCarver was awarded the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award in 2012 for his Emmy-winning work in the booth.

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The St. Louis Cardinals made this statement about McCarver’s death: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Cardinals Hall of Fame catcher Tim McCarver. A two-time World Series champion, McCarver caught 12 seasons in St. Louis over his 21-year career. Our condolences go out to the McCarver family and his many baseball friends and colleagues.”

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Tim McCarver as a Cardinal catcher."Tim McCarver was an All-Star, a World Series Champion, a respected teammate, and one of the most influential voices our game has known," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "As a player, Tim was a key part of great Cardinals and Phillies teams in his 21-year career. In the booth, his analysis and attention to detail brought fans closer to our game and how it is played and managed. Tim’s approach enhanced the fan experience on our biggest stages and on the broadcasts of the Mets, the Yankees, and the Cardinals.

"All of us at Major League Baseball are grateful for Tim’s impact on sports broadcasting and his distinguished career in our National Pastime. I extend my deepest condolences to Tim’s family, friends, and the generations of fans who learned about our great game from him.”

McCarver, born in Memphis on Oct. 16, 1941, preceded his time behind the microphone with years behind the plate. He spent 21 years as a Major League catcher for several teams, including the Cardinals, Phillies, Expos, and Red Sox. His best years were with the Cardinals, with whom he won World Series titles in 1964 and 1967. In the 1964 Series against the Yankees, McCarver shined at the plate, going 11-for-23 with five RBIs and a home run that broke a tied score in the 10th inning of Game 5. He even stole home in Game 7.

McCarver won another Series ring in 1967, the year he earned his second All-Star selection and finished second in National League MVP voting. He also went 9-for-27 with a homer and four RBIs in the Cards’ seven-game World Series loss to Detroit in 1968.

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