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Gary Carter, the greatest catcher in Canadian baseball history, has passed away. He was only 57.

Details fron ESPN New York here.

Rest well, Kid | 15 comments | Create New Account
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Thomas - Thursday, February 16 2012 @ 05:17 PM EST (#251970) #
R.I.P, Gary.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 16 2012 @ 05:21 PM EST (#251972) #
Very sad.  My first memory of him was seeing "HR- CarterG" over and over again in early spring training linescores, and thinking "gee, he must be good".  He was that, and more.
CeeBee - Thursday, February 16 2012 @ 06:09 PM EST (#251974) #
A sad day for baseball. R.I.P. Gary.
Gerry - Thursday, February 16 2012 @ 06:47 PM EST (#251975) #
A very good player with a great personality. He was the face of Expos baseball for a while there in the 80's. Many of the writers are saying he had a zest for life, hopefully he got as much into his 57 years as others do in 80.
Chuck - Thursday, February 16 2012 @ 07:21 PM EST (#251976) #
I grew up in Montreal and watched him live at the Big Owe between 50 and 100 times, including the 1982 all-star game which featured 4 Expos in the starting lineup (to say nothing of some yappy dufuses from Boston sitting behind me who mocked everything to do with the city of Montreal; they shut up when their guy, Eckersley, got smacked around).

With his a little too well crafted aw shucks Kid Carter persona, he was a polarizing figure (think Steve Garvey). But there's no denying that he was a hell of a player.

And he did something very few power hitters do. In two seasons, he had more walks than strikeouts. In a third season he tied. And in a fourth he was one walk shy.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, February 16 2012 @ 09:53 PM EST (#251977) #
My good Pennsylvania-livin' cuz, Bill Taverner, Editor of the American Journal of Sexuality Education, shared the following reuly fantastic story on Facebook  in wake of today's too-soon loss of Gary Carter, Hall of Fame Expos/Mets/Giants catcher.


22 years ago I worked in a recreation center for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
There was one guy who showed up every night in a Mets jacket. I'll call him "Antonio". He was a man of few words. More precisely, he was a man of two words. They were "Gary Carter".

Night after night, I'd greet him coming off the bus and I'd say, "Hi, Antonio!" and he'd reply, "Gary Carter...!" and make a motion with his arms like he was swinging a bat.

I never knew what made him like the old Mets catcher do much. But I did know there was little else he talked about. And so one day, I looked up Gary Carter's address and sent him a letter, telling him all about Antonio.

Gary sent back an 8 x10 glossy color photo of himself, autographed, and inscribed with the message, "To Antonio, Best Wishes, Gary 'Kid' Carter".

I framed the photo and was ready for the next time Antonio came off the bus.

"Hi Antonio!" I said, "I have something for you!"

"Gary Carter!" Antonio replied.

"Yes!" I said, and handed him the photo.

Antonio froze. And then he said something else: "Thank you, Bill."

I didn't even know he knew my name.
electric carrot - Thursday, February 16 2012 @ 11:26 PM EST (#251978) #
Great story Mick.  I might have to pass that along.  Gary Carter was my first favorite player and that Expos team was my first favorite team.  Later I became enamored with Steve Rogers, he who produced those giant sighs before big pitches and had that great mustache. Eventually I moved on to the Blue Jays -- but never Dave Stieb who didn't have Steve Rogers' charm, his great mustache and who struck me as a whiny brat who yelled at his defense.  Anyway, the whole journey started in a way with Gary.  He was a great player with an infectious and easy-going personality.   It's sad to see him go so early.
ColiverPhD - Friday, February 17 2012 @ 07:47 AM EST (#251983) #

My first memory of Gary Carter was his rookie year in Montreal.  Barry Foote was the regular Catcher but the Expos needed Carter in the lineup.  Therefore, Carter played several games in Right Field.  He wore his helmet out there while playing RF. 

During that year he had the opportunity to Catch and he was impressive...before long he was Montreal's #1 Catcher and on his way to a HOF career.

He will be missed...


John Northey - Friday, February 17 2012 @ 10:01 AM EST (#251987) #
I wasn't an Expos fan until '85 when the team finally was on TV more than a couple times a year (TSN had 40 games a year initially). By then Carter had left. But years later I heard a bad story about him from a sportswriter who was a friend of my dad's and who was in Montreal during Carter's time. This contradicted what I heard on TV and radio about Carter being a 'good guy'. Years later more negatives via an old Expos manager at a SABR meeting. But last night on the radio it was all put together by the Globe's Jeff Blair. He had a very negative experience with Carter during Carter's last gasp in Montreal and heard many other negative stories. Yet in later years he learned from Warren Cromartie (among other ex-players who he thought disliked Carter) that the trick with Carter was getting to know him. Carter was the type who could seem fake at first, but then once you knew him he could be a great person - from teaching Cromartie's son how to tie his shoes to being one of the few Expos to actually (try to) learn French (he would give speeches in French which was extremely poor quality French but he tried his best and was loved for it). He loved baseball as shown by his managing teams in low A ball and independent leagues after retiring while other HOF'ers would demand a ML job or at least high level minors.

Gary Carter's final appearance in the majors was hitting a double in the 7th inning to drive in the only run in a 1-0 game. He loved baseball, he loved the spotlight, and he did the right things while in that spotlight. That is how I'll remember him.
Chuck - Friday, February 17 2012 @ 10:34 AM EST (#251990) #

Carter was the type who could seem fake at first, but then once you knew him he could be a great person

I think that's Carter in a nutshell. It's not surprising that the perception of Carter from outside of Montreal is different and more whitewashed than it was within the city. And it's not surprising how much of that is being dutifully ignored in the wake of his passing. No speaking ill of the dead and all that.

Unfortunately, I think we do people an injustice by portraying them as saintly when they die, especially when it's too young. Carter had his warts like all the rest of us and was a three-dimensional person, not some mythical character. He was a terrific baseball player who played with a great deal of enthusiasm. His behaviour was endearing to a faction of the public and less so to another faction.

John Northey - Friday, February 17 2012 @ 11:49 AM EST (#251996) #
Agreed Chuck. I am aware of stuff (via that sportswriter) that would be very negatively viewed but won't tell people as it is second hand information that I can never confirm (unless I became very close to a batch of the old Expos).

In the end, for fans he was great - a person who would do interviews, who learned French (sorta) and who always seemed to give his all on the field. I've read lots of stories of photos being signed and sent without always demanding cash. He clearly loved baseball as he stuck around past his 'best before date' to be a backup then managed in the lowest levels of the minors in an effort to stick around.

For some sportswriters, managers, and fellow players he was a nightmare but for others he was wonderful. I suspect we'd find that part to be true of all athletes just to different degrees. It is very sad for anyone to die in their 50's and seeing it happen to a pro-athlete who had the cash to pay for the best treatments in the world it just emphasizes how sometimes nothing can be done. A sad thought indeed.
TamRa - Saturday, February 18 2012 @ 03:38 AM EST (#252011) #
this might be too soon, and I don't mean to be disrespectful to Carter who I loved (until he went to the Mets - I have a thing about NY teams) but i thought about this while listening to Jerry H. on Blair's show today for some reason.

It seems to me that the same sense of "beloved by those who really know him and the hometown fans but rubbing other folks the wrong way at times" is the vibe that Brett lawrie gives off...

A guy who's happy and enthusiastic all the time
a guy who passionately loves the game
a guy who "turns it up to 11" all the time
a guy who's maybe the lifeblood of his team's passion

all are the sort of things folks tend to say about Carter and Lawrie too.

Other than the obvious difference in terms of Carter being a big-time Christian (which I don't know is true of Lawrie) there seems to be a lot of similarity just in terms of public perception.
scottt - Saturday, February 18 2012 @ 01:43 PM EST (#252013) #
As far as religion goes, the latino layers who wear chains around their necks and sign themselves after a play or before an at bat are the ones the Quebec crowd would have considered as Big Christians.

Carter was just a great guy to watch.
TamRa - Saturday, February 18 2012 @ 07:27 PM EST (#252020) #
IIRC Tony Fernandez was a minister in the off-season back home wasn't he?
Thomas - Monday, February 20 2012 @ 12:48 AM EST (#252046) #
The Canadiens paid a very nice tribute to Carter before tonight's game against the Devils.
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