Five years ago today, this world lost an amazing person. Known not just as a great ball player but an even better man, Gary Carter lost his battle with brain cancer on February 16, 2012.
Given the nickname “The Kid” for his shear joy of the game, Carter was known for his big infectious smile that could light up Shea Stadium. Even his Hall of Fame plaque shows him with a nice big grin. Carter is remembered for the kid like energy he provided on the field every game.
Carter was an 11-time All Star, a 3-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a 5-time Silver Slugger Award winner. And in my opinion one of, if not, the best catchers of all-time.
He hit his way into Mets fans hearts right away. In his first game as a Met in the 1985 season opener, it was a 5-5 game in the top of the 10th inning. Carter stepped up to the plate facing Neil Allen with no men on base. Allen hung a curve on the first pitch, it hung up there for Carter, and he put it over the left field fence.
Carter pumped his arms as he rounded the bases, and as he was mobbed at home plate by his teammates, he was serenaded by a packed Shea Stadium to chants of “Gary! Gary!” He provided many more exciting moments throughout his career.
One moment Carter is most famously known for is his role in the 1986 World Series. He had a career year that season finishing 3rd in the NL MVP ballot, behind Mike Schmidt and Glenn Davis. In the World Series, Carter made his presence felt with a two homer game in Game 4, and of course his two hits in Game 6.
Known for famously saying, “I will not make the last f’kng out of the World Series,” Carter sparked a two out rally leading to a Mets win and ultimately a come from behind World Series Championship. Carter provided some amazing and unforgettable moments on the field.
The reason people loved Gary Carter so much is because of the man he is. Carter was a man first, and a baseball player second. Gary made an impact on a countless number of lives not only on, but also off the field.
In 1989, Carter won the Roberto Clemente Award for a countless number of contributions off the field. He was the founder of the Gary Carter Foundation, which helps better the physical, mental, and spiritual well being of children.
He also raised funds and helped spread the awareness of causes of leukemia, and juvenile diabetes. Amongst a number of other things, Gary was involved in the Autism Project of Palm Beach County. Gary Carter was a great man both on and off the field.
Gary Carter lived a Hall of Fame life. He had a Hall of Fame career and was a Hall of Fame man. The Kid will forever be in the hearts and memories of baseball fans all over the world. His passion, leadership, and sheer love of the game will never be forgotten!
We Miss Ya and Love Ya Kid! RIP Gary Carter.