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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Noble: Role reversal: McCarver turns the tables on Carlton

McCarlton Partners, Ltd....very limited.

It was Tim McCarver, the catcher’s catcher, throwing out the first ball here Saturday. And it was Steve Carlton figuratively wearing the tools and serving as McCarver’s receiver. 60 feet, six inches—or thereabouts—separated them, but in reverse. McCarver stood on the bump—albeit 10 feet from the rubber. Lefty stood behind the plate. And a manufactured moment that splendidly stood on ceremony occurred. Nostaglia with a twist.

What did it matter that the first ceremonial first pitch of McCarver’s life was high and wide as if it were an alley oop intended for Shawn Bradley? Carlton, wisely outfitted with a fielder’s glove and not a catcher’s mitt, handled it cleanly and smiled. And the umpire called it a strike, expanding the strike zone by roughly 143 percent.

McCarver had warmed up for his ceremonial assignment during an afternoon catch with his grandson, Beau. He felt reassured when, for the first time, his throw had some air under it. The one he threw to Lefty had much more loft. Larry Bowa advised McCarver, “You’ve got to get a cutoff man.” More laughter.

McCarver had hoped his throw wouldn’t give away his age, almost 70; not that his age embarrasses him; but he didn’t want his arm to. “I wanted to throw a slider in the dirt,” he said, “like the ones Lefty threw that I had to block with my shoulder and my neck.”

Repoz Posted: August 12, 2012 at 12:30 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, media

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. bjhanke Posted: August 12, 2012 at 02:58 AM (#4206658)
So did McCarver say that the only thing Carlton knows about catching is squat? - Brock Hanke
   2. Elvis Posted: August 12, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4206705)
Brent Musberger was a minor league umpire? Wow, just wow.
   3. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: August 12, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4206815)
Later in the day, Carlton bored everyone with Bob Gibson stories.
   4. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 12, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4206896)
McCarver had hoped his throw wouldn’t give away his age, almost 70;

Since when is he "almost" 70?
   5. bjhanke Posted: August 13, 2012 at 04:01 AM (#4207055)
McCarver turns 70 in October. - Brock
   6. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: August 13, 2012 at 06:08 AM (#4207066)
I was hoping McCarver had said something totally insane and Lefty had to walk it back for him.

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