Gary Carter Baseball
February 28, 2012 by staff
Gary Carter Baseball, Gary Carter, a Hall of Fame catcher from Fullerton who helped lift the New York Mets to a dramatic victory over the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 World Series, died Thursday in Florida. He was 57 and had brain cancer.
Nicknamed “Kid” for his grit and youthful exuberance, Carter was an 11-time All-Star who hit .262 with 324 home runs and 1,225 runs batted in during 18 seasons playing for the Montreal Expos, Mets, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers.
His goal to become a major league manager unfulfilled, Carter was coaching at Palm Beach Atlantic University near his Florida home last May when he experienced headaches and forgetfulness and was diagnosed with brain cancer.
“Nobody loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter,” Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver said Thursday. “Nobody enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. For a catcher to play with that intensity in every game is special.”
Former Expos pitcher Steve Rogers, who is now a players’ union special assistant, played with Carter in Montreal. “Gary and I grew up together in the game, and during our time with the Expos we were as close as brothers, if not closer,” Rogers said. “Gary was a champion. He was a ‘gamer’ in every sense of the word – on the field and in life. He made everyone else around him better, and he made me a better pitcher.”
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, who was Carter’s teammate with the Dodgers in 1991, remembered him as “not only an incredible ballplayer but an incredible person.”
“I always admired him when I played against him,” Scioscia said, “and it was a pleasure to play with him.”
Born April 8, 1954, in Culver City, Carter was raised in Fullerton. His father, Jim, was an aircraft worker, and his older brother, Gordon, played two years in the Giants’ minor league system.
Carter told Sport magazine that a turning point in his life was the death of his mother when he was 12. Inge Carter suffered from leukemia and died when she was 37.
“I took it very personally, very hard,” Carter said. “One thing it did was turn me off God for a while and onto sports. I really feel everything good I did on a field was for my mother.”
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