RIP Gary Carter

Gary Carter passed away today, his daughter announced this afternoon.

Carter was diagnosed with four brain tumors last May.

He received treatment, but, in January, his family announced that doctors found several new tumors on his brain.

To read his daughter’s words, go to her online journal, where you can also make a donation to Caring Bridge in Carter’s name.

SNY will air Carter’s first game with the Mets from 1985, which he won with a 10th inning home run, tonight at 7:30 PM.

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(Updated at 11:00 pm) Triple-A manager Wally Backman announced that he will change to No. 8 this season in honor of Gary Carter, according to the Buffalo Bisons.

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(Updated at 9:01 pm) To listen to Keith Hernandez’s emotional, heart-breaking reaction on SNY to news of Carter’s passing, click here.

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(Updated at 8:00 pm) This photograph of Carter says it all, doesn’t it?

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(Updated at 7:53 pm) Jon Niese: “The one thing Gary stressed to us was team. He said individual goals were meaningless. He said the name on the front of the uniform was more important than the name on the back. That’s what I’ll take from my two years with him.”

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(Updated at 7:32 pm) To watch Carter’s 2003 speech when being inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame, go here on YouTube.

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(Updated at 7:30 pm) Joe Petruccio has posted a beautiful tribute painting to Carter, which you can see by clicking here.

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(Updated at 7:25 pm) Darryl Strawberry on SNY: “Gary Carter smiled because he was free. He was free inside. He loved playing the game, and he played the game the right way. … He would get in your face if he had to. He was very vocal and said what he had to say, and you respected him for that. … I always listened to Gary. I always loved him. I’ve always had nothing but respect for him. … He was an example of what a professional athlete was supposed to be. Mookie was the same way. … He would never talk about you in the press or backstab you. … Gary was real. The rest of us screwed up. He was real. When I look back and think about what he meant to us, not just as a player, but as the character of a man, that’s what you live for. … What a tremendous man. I always respect him more for his character than as a baseball player.”

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(Updated at 7:11 pm) To read Ted Berg‘s thoughts on Carter, click here.

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(Updated at 7:09 pm) To read Greg Prince’s incredible post to Faith and Fear in Flushing, remembering Carter, click here.

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(Updated at 7:00 pm) Tom Seaver: “No one loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. No one enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. He gave you 110 percent and played the most grueling position on the field and that was something special.”

(Updated at 7:00 pm) Mookie Wilson: “The one thing I remember about Gary was his smile. He loved life and loved to play the game of baseball.”

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(Updated at 6:35 pm) Frank Cashen: “The genesis of the trade was that we wanted to add a big bat to the lineup. He did that right away, but perhaps more importantly was the way he handled our young pitchers. He was the perfect guy for so many reasons.”

(Updated at 6:35 pm) Doc 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.”

(Updated at 6:35 pm) Wally Backman“He was like a big brother to me.  I always went to him for advice. No matter what time of day it was, he always had time for you.”

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(Updated at 6:15 pm) Darryl Strawberry on WFAN this evening: “I wish I could have lived my life like Gary Carter. … He was a true man. … I have always respected him.”

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(Updated at 6:10 pm) Ron Darling: “The baseball world lost one of its gladiators today, and I have lost a friend.  Gary Carter was everything you wanted in a sports hero: a great talent, a great competitor, a great family man, and a great friend.  To know Gary was to care deeply for him, and I am deeply saddened.  All my thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sandy and their children.”

(Updated at 6:10 pm) Bob Ojeda: “We are all very saddened to hear of Gary’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time. He was not only a Hall of Fame ballplayer, but also a Hall of Fame man as well. He is gone too soon for us to understand. May he rest in peace.”

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(Updated at 5:48 pm) Matthew Cerrone: “I feel bad for Carter’s family. These things are never easy. For me, I’m just thankful I had the opportunity to root for Carter. He was special, not just as a player, but as a person, which is evident by how fans are reacting.

This is not a platitude, because I think about it often and I mean it: Carter and the 1986 Mets taught me (at 10 years old) to never quit, never stop fighting, because you never know what might happen next. It’s not crazy to say that Carter and his teammates had an impact on my world view as a young man, and that’s the power of sports that should never be wasted on these men.

It isn’t always easy, but I will always be thankfully that Carter, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden made me fall in love with the Mets.”

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(Updated at 5:05 pm) Michael Baron: “Carter was my childhood hero – the ballplayer I looked up to as a kid and made me want to play. I remember wanting to be him; my dad had a jersey made for me with his name and number screened on it, and I wore that jersey everyday to school during the playoffs and World Series in 1986. I even wanted curly hair like Carter had. Unfortunately, my hair is straight. And as stupid as it may sound, I would take my book bag and pretend it was a chest protector, and wear two mesh hats – one as a hat on backwards and the other as a catchers mask over my face.

It may have been stupid, but Carter was my hero, and I think many of us always pretend to be and fantasize about our heroes and their moments of glory, as much as we don’t always admit it.

I didn’t get to meet Carter while he was with the Mets. I met him in 1992 when he was with the Expos for his 19th and final season in Major League Baseball. I don’t remember the conversation I had with him; I just remember looking at him as he was speaking with me and being absolutely floored by the moment. How many people get to meet and speak with their ultimate hero? I guess I’m luckier than I think I am. I walked away with an autographed ticket, and a memory I will cherish forever.

I’m especially saddened by the news of his passing and that he had to suffer the way he did. Your heroes aren’t supposed to suffer and they’re not supposed to die, right? After all, that’s why they’re heroes. I will always have 1986, 1992, and my front yard…

 

5 comments
AdamRotter
AdamRotter

@Miller_Brian makes sense. If they really wanted to I'm sure they could cut part of another letter to make the period