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  1. Great piece, Steve. Thanks.

    Comment by Navin Vaswani — February 17, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

  2. Found myself with similar thoughts, being around the same age and never seeing him play. Great job putting it into words.

    Comment by Smada — February 17, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

  3. Gracias Steve por escribir algo tan hermoso como esto.

    Comment by jacobo — February 17, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

  4. Wonderfully written. A great reminder about the important things in life. Thank you.

    Comment by futurecfo — February 17, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  5. Gary Carter was one of my favorite players to watch growing up. I grew up a Phillies fan, so I remember him best when he was beating us as an Expo and as a Met (this happened pretty frequently, unfortunately). He was impossible to hate, as he always seemed to be having a great time. And he was good. Very good.

    Comment by fergie348 — February 17, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  6. I am probably one of the few human beings on the planet who was an enthusiastic Expos fan while Carter was there, and then switched over to being an enthusiastic Mets fan around the time Carter was traded to them.

    (my switch of allegences had not much directly to do with Carter’s move – it was, more broadly, because the Mets improved across the board, and became less painful for a New Yorker to root for).

    Anyway, on the subject of, “Gary Carter was a fantastic human being. He was a gentle, good-guy ballplayer in an era where his behavior was far from the norm (or necessarily always appreciated). He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, was hopelessly devoted to his wife, was open to everyone and rarely said no, and never had a smile far from his face. He was, quintessentially, The Kid. Maybe I’m romanticizing Carter. Sure, he must have had his warts as well”

    Seems to me that the biggest “wart” Carter seemed to have had was that his good-guy stuff, as upbeat and positive as it often was, also seemed a little forced, over-the-top, and preachy at times. I remember that it seemed occasionally grate on teammates and fans, and made him seem somewhat unengaging and two-dimensional as a character in the baseball narrative. It seems similar to the way Steve Garvey or Curt Schilling grated on folks (without Garve’s revelations of hypocritical behavior, or Schilling’s intentional antagonism), or the way Tim Tebow grates on some folks (but with much less of the whole religious/cultural war dimension).

    Anyway – yes, a great player, a powerful asset to the teams he played on, and, generally, a great guy. May he rest in peace.

    Comment by Snow Leopard — February 17, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  7. I grew up as a Mets fan in the 1980’s. When I was thirteen, and the Mets were on top of the world, I sat near to him at the U.S. Open. He graciously signed an autograph and was a perfect gentleman. The autograph said “God Bless Gary Carter”. No comma. It was an odd thing, and I assume the comma was intended. Yet . . . I read the article in today’s times which quotes Ron Darling about Carter. He says all the right words about Carter but you can see lots of references like “we were very different but . . .” “We weren’t always good friends but . . .” There is a sense that Carter held himself apart, and not in a reserved way, but in maybe a self righteous and self congratulatory way. The way he felt slighted a few years ago when he wasn’t seriously considered for a Mets managerial opening. I don’t know Gary Carter. He was a great baseball player. A deserving hall of famer. Yet, there is something about “Camera Carter” that probably kept him apart. I don’t feel the same way about Mookie Wilson, who is likewise universally praised as a good person. Mookie just seemed more real than Gary, more human and more humble. Carter probably was more sincere than I give him credit for, but the over-the-top aspect of it clearly bothered those who lived and worked with him every day.

    Comment by db — February 17, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  8. I hope this hasn’t went too far down the list so that no one will read it, but:

    Somehow, I feel this video needs to be watched more than 2,000 times. Thanks to Yahoo Sports for pointing out this video exists.

    Comment by sc2gg — February 18, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

  9. Gary Carter was one of the most loved players to ever don a Expos uniform. Montreal mourns this week. The guy really reached out to French Canadian fans and made an effort to learn the language when he played there. Great human being and a great ballplayer.

    Comment by NEPP — February 18, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

  10. Yeah, a lot of the 80’s Mets would often roll their eyes or joke about Carter, but all you have to do is listen to Keith Hernandez’s emotional interview yesterday to realize that they still loved him like a brother.

    Comment by Madoff Withurmoni — February 18, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

  11. ESPN had a good tribute to Kid.

    In regards to the swearing, they said the only cuss they ever heard him say was after his 2-out single in G6 of the 86 WS when he said to the 1B coach, “I wasn’t going to be the guy that made the last ***ing out of the WS.” If you’re going to pick a time for your first acknowledged cuss, that’s a pretty good selection.

    We often comment that we want baseball players to act like X, and then when they act like X we find some way to complain about it.

    Admittingly I missed the best of Carter because he was being hid in Montreal and ESPN wasn’t the worldwide Leader in Sports in the early 80s, so I only saw him in All-Star games, where everyone was happy and gracious.

    How someone can be that damn happy playing catcher for all those years is beyond me.

    I forget where I read it, but someone did quite a bit of research and concluded that Carter saved more runs via limiting PB and WP than any other C. That certainly makes a lot of pitchers happy.

    Like the Expos fan above said, as a Cardinals fan, my loyalties were split with Mets following Hernandez’s move to NY. Those Mets we’re just a thrilling team to follow. We routinely call for vets to be leaders for young, impessionable players and I found it to be sad that more of them didn’t emulate Carter, to their own detriment.

    Gary Carter’s 1980 Topps card remains one of my favorites because of the awesome action photo and the 3-color catcher’s helmet. *grin*

    Comment by CircleChange11 — February 18, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  12. Wonderfully written, Steve. Good work.

    Comment by Liam in NY — February 19, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

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