Gary Carter was winding down his career when I started paying attention to him. After all, when he singled in the winning run for the Mets in 1986 I was only 11. What I do remember of Carter is only in highlights for the most part. I know that every clip I have seen of him he was always smiling and enjoying the game the way it should be, with the heart of a kid.
The 11 time All-Star lost his life at the age of 57 on Thursday. Carter was , by all accounts, the happiest guy to ever play the game. Teammates and fans alike could always count on Carter’s smile and hustle every game day. He put his pitchers at ease when he was parked behind the dish, and made opposing pitchers turn to mush as he walked to it, bat in hand, ready to unleash that devastating swing.
When Carter was inducted to the Hall, he was enshrined as a member of the Montreal Expos. Carter kindly reminded them that his best years came with the Mets, but decided to not object. He showed up at enshrinement day, and every function later, with a Mets cap in hand.
Even though Carter was taken too early, he will always be elite.
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