The Feast of Carter the World Series Hero

Today, Joe Carter was in our thoughts. And so, tonight, we resurrect, as we are prone to do, our celebrated feast-days series.

Carter the World Series Hero

Life: Joe Carter was, for the most part, an average baseball player. He hit a lot of home runs. Year in and year out, he was good for 30 dingers, a hundred ribbies, and a hundred strikeouts — give or take a few. Once upon a time, he even stole bases. In my youth, had I known anything about on-base percentage, I would have likely hated Joe Carter. I would have gladly taken the home runs, and the RBIs, especially on those deeper Toronto Blue Jays clubs, but I wouldn’t have been too happy about it. Yet I remember Carter most fondly. Everyone in Toronto does. Because of one catch, one walk-off home run, and two jumps for joy.

Spiritual Exercise: Joe Carter ended back-to-back World Series a winner. Literally. Ask yourself: Would you rather have a Hall of Fame career, and never win a title? Or would you rather be slightly above average, with power, and hit a walk-off home run to win the World Series?

A Prayer for Joe Carter

Joe Carter!
You’re one of the
lucky ones.
So many are remembered by the
sum total of their numbers.
Not you.

Why the hell did Otis Nixon
He gave away the final bloody out.

I’ll never forget the way you hopped
to the mound, after you made the catch.
And then leapt!
Eyes closed,
into Pat Borders’ arms.
I’d never jumped so high,
Until a year later.

You were 0-for-4
when you stepped into the box
to face Mitch Williams.
Wild Thing.
You finished 1-for-5.
“Touch ’em all Joe,
you’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life.”
I haven’t jumped as high,

Joe Carter!
Your stats and
your legacy
are two different things.

Thanks for
the memories.
They’re two of the best
I’ve got.
I wish I’d been old enough to get drunk.

Image courtesy the Toronto Star. I think. I can’t remember.

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Navin Vaswani is a replacement-level writer. Follow him on Twitter.

10 Responses to “The Feast of Carter the World Series Hero”

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  1. BronxBomber says:

    I remember knowing the Jays were going to win when Joe came up against the Phillies. Everyone in the room doubted me; Carter showed the world.

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  2. Greg W says:

    In ’92 I jumped into my dad’s arms and hugged him. In ’93 I remember being alone and jumping up and slapping the doorframe. I owe a good lot to Carter, a man who took opportunities and did more than you could expect with them.

    To Carter, the Blue Jays last hero.

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  3. Martin says:

    Living behind the Great Firewall is a nightmare, what has happened to Joe Carter? I can’t find any info about it at all.

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  4. Nu? Billy Baroo says:

    I sincerely think you are underestimating Carter’s baseball prowess. He is definitely better than “average” or “above average”. He was known as clutch before the WS, hit tons of RBI and anyone who hits more than “30 dingers, 100 ribbies year in , year out” in the 1980s was def. better than your characterization.

    Not a Carter fan or anything, but this whole premise is flawed.

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    • Greg W says:

      You haven’t read much about Carter and the worst 100 RBI seasons in baseball history, have you? And, yes, it is possible to have a poor 100 RBI season.

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      • Nu? Billy Baroo says:

        I have. The terminology and characterization is the objection.

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        • First of all, you’re taking this shit way too seriously.

          Second of all, Carter was, for the most part, an average ball player. I stand by that claim. And I am more than willing to help you come to terms with that. Just give me a shout.

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    • Blueyays says:

      If he was so clutch, why did his clutch rating always bounce around 0 and actually end up negative? I’ll tell you why: because with Joe, just like with everyone else, it’s just luck. Clutch doesn’t exist.
      And as for the 100 ribbies, that’ll happen anytime you’re a decent hitter in the middle of a great lineup of players. It doesn’t have all that much to do with his actual ability.

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