Thursday, February 16, 2012

N.Y. Mets ~ Gary Carter; The Kid


1954 - 2012

The Kid is forever now.  Gary Carter has passed.  Another great Met has departed us.  His battles with brain cancer are lost.  And an even finer person is gone.

My condolences go out to his family; relatives; closest friends; loved ones; and those he found favor with.  I trust he is better now, pain free, and smiling again.  He will certainly be missed by all; to include us fans.

Each of his Met team mates brought something different to the table.  But Gary Carter is, and appears likely to remain, the only Hall of Famer of that 1986 team.  He was so much more disciplined than many of his team mates of that time. Surrounded by brashness, major egos, and supremely confident personalities, he stood out in a raucous era as the Professional.  In the face of all the Mets' cockiness and a League wide disdain the opposition held towards them, Gary Carter was always emblematic of that aspect of the Mets you always had to respect.  For Gary Carter was their legitimacy and class.

He came to Flushing with perhaps the grandest body of work that anyone in the clubhouse could swing a bat at; save maybe Keith Hernandez who won an MVP and a championship with the Cards prior to joining the Mets.  But make no mistake, Gary Carter came to the Mets when he was the dominant catcher in Baseball.  He was a most significant leader of that team; literally taking a young pitching staff and guiding them towards glory.  He was the Mets' bedrock behind the plate.  And in that bedrock was built the foundation on which a Met team rose up like the New York City skyline.

For me personally, the defining moment(s) of his Met years came during the World Series in Boston when he jacked two home runs over the Green Monster.  But his greatness was evident every day.  Add to that the many players who mistook his smile and temperament as a weakness when rounding third and heading home.  They paid steep prices for their missteps.  For Gary Carter defended the plate with defiance and toughness.  And what you took away from a collision with Gary Carter was a lesson learned.  Don't try that again.

Gary Carter was tough.  Real tough.  And he didn't have a problem letting you know it.  Maybe that's why he was so perfect for that team.  And if you were a strike out victim against the Mets back then, Gary Carter was a Grade-A jerk; especially if you struck out to end the inning.  And that part of his game always endeared the Hall of Fame catcher with Met fans.  Nothing screamed TAKE THAT! more than Gary Carter's handling of strike three.  That particular kind of Met Magic hadn't happened in Flushing since the days Tom Seaver and Jerry Grote pissed off batters at Shea an era prior.  And unfortunately, not since.

This is how I will remember Gary Carter the Met.   I met the person at a Long Island Ducks game when he managed them.   And for that, I am thankful.

Rest well my friend.



  1. Wow, this is a really sad trajedy. I remember Carter playing as a kid, and remember all the baseball cards I had of him through out the 80's. He was smiling in all of them, and just seemed to enjoy the game he was playing.

  2. He was truly one of the good guys. What a loss.


Say what you feel. The worse comment you can make is the one you do not make.