[Steve] Carlton’s induction in 1994 was the reason that McCarver last traveled to Cooperstown. At a dinner the night before the ceremony, the host, George Grande, asked McCarver to talk about the left-handed Carlton.
McCarver recalled saying: “If Carl Hubbell goes down in the history of baseball for having the best screwball, if Sandy Koufax goes down as having the best curve, and Nolan Ryan goes down as arguably having the best fastball, then Steve Carlton will go down as having the best slider in the game.”
Then, he added: “I looked over his shoulder and this very familiar figure was swimming his way through the crowd. It was Gibson. And No. 45 gets about four inches from my face and said, ‘The best left-handed slider in the history of the game.’ He made his point, skulked away and giggled.”...
McCarver spent 16 seasons with the Mets — “the most exciting years of my professional life” — in a delightful booth partnership with Ralph Kiner, whose stories, humor and historical gravitas have long merged with his malaprops, mispronunciations and memory lapses. Kiner called McCarver “Sid,” “Ted” and “Jim,” and “Tim MacArthur,” too. Sometimes, Kiner simply forgot his friend’s name (and his own).
Kiner once had to describe the entrance of a San Diego Padres reliever while satisfying a sponsor, American Cyanamid. McCarver had checked the sponsor lineup beforehand, saw the company’s name and said, “Oh boy, that’s tough to pronounce.” And, he added, “Sure enough, Ralph said, ‘The Padres make a pitching change, and this is brought to you by American Cyanide.’
“We were advocating cyanide pills,” McCarver said. “That’s how bad the Mets were playing.”