Gary Carter was a gift to baseball fans for more than two decades. But to New York Mets fans, his career was legendary. Carter's bottom-of-the-10th single in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox touched off one of the most improbable rallies in baseball history.Yesterday, the Hall of Fame catcher died after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 57.
“I am deeply saddened to tell you all that my precious dad went to be with Jesus today at 4:10 p.m.,” Carter’s daughter Kimmy Bloemers wrote on the family website. “This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to write in my entire life but I wanted you all to know.”
Known as the 'Kid,’ no nickname was more appropriate. Carter displayed an effervescent quality at the plate and behind it. He earned the nickname as an eager teen in his first major league camp and the label stuck .
Hall of Famer Gary Carter Image: © Paul J. Bereswill/Newsday/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com
Carter finished his career with a .262 lifetime batting average, 324 homeruns, 1225 RBI, 11 NL All-Star selections, five Silver Sluggers, three Gold Gloves and a World Series ring. His number 8 was retired by the Mets in 2001 and two years later he was enshrined in Cooperstown.
The following are some of the statements from the Mets press releases about Carter:
MANAGER DAVEY JOHNSON: “Gary was a one-man scouting system. What people didn’t know was that he kept an individual book on every batter in the National League. He was the ideal catcher for our young pitching staff.”
DARRYL STRAWBERRY: “What he added to the team was character. His approach to the game was contagious. It spread to the rest of us. He helped each of us understand what it took to win.”
DWIGHT GOODEN: “I relied on Gary for everything when I was on the mound including location, what pitch to throw and when. Even when I didn’t have my best stuff, he found a way to get me through the game. He was just a warrior on the field.”
Never was there a team like the 86 Mets. Never a player like Carter. RIP Gary. And f**k cancer.
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