Former Mets Catcher Gary Carter passes away at 57 by Joseph Wolkin

As a member of the Hall of Fame, Gary Carter loved the game of baseball with a bright smile and an astonishing smile. Carter’s historic role in the 1986 World Series will always be one of his most memorable moments as a member of the New York Metropolitans.

After being diagnosed with four malignant tumors last year, Carter had been fighting Brain Cancer. The tumors were decreasing over recent months, but when Carter went back to the doctor in January to receive the worst possible news. The tumors reappeared as there was several on his brain.

Unfortunately, Carter couldn’t fight the battle any more. Through the use of chemotherapy, Carter’s progress was deemed to be successful in the long-term. According to a post on the Carter family website by his daughter, Kimmy Bloemers, Carter passed away at 4:10 P.M. at a hospice center in his home town of West Palm Beach, FL on Febuary 16th.

Carter, a 19 year veteran of the MLB, spent his Major League service with several different organizations. His stardom came along with his first club, the Montreal Expos, where he spent 12 years of his career. Carter had 220 Homeruns in his tenure with the Expos. In this time with the Expos, Carter had several accomplishments which still stand in the Washington Nationals (formerly the Expos) organization to this day.As a Catcher, Carter smacked 298 homers in the ;majors. He had four seasons where he tallied at least 100 RBI’s, one of the most all time for the “kid” behind the plate.

When traded to the New York Mets in 1985, Carter had came off of one of his best seasons as he had 27 HR’s, 106 RBI’s, a .294 BA which capped off a career high, 175 hit season.

With the Mets, Carter’s clutch bat rose to the occasion. He had a walk-off homer in his first game with the Mets, a respectable mark entering a town which doesn’t accept stars that easily.

Memories which spanned Carter’s career in New York were brought together when he passed on with his famous “standing ovation” after he hit two HR’s in the ‘86 World Series. But, the most memorable moment in Carter’s career would have to be the spark of his bat which eventually led to the Mets’ winning their first and only World Series title since 1969.

After the World Series victory, Carter spent just three more years with the Mets as he put his name in the record books for all fans of the sport to see. He spent a year with the Giants and Dodgers before returning to Montreal for his final season. Though Carter didn’t play exceeding well in his final years as a major league star, he is arguably the best Catcher of all time.

The recognition Carter received throughout his career was spectacular. In his time with the Expos, Carter earned several awards which eventually earned him a spot in the Hall of Fame with an ever-so controversial Expos uniform.

In his career, Carter earned three Gold Glove awards, each of which came in consecutive years of 1980-1982. When Carter stepped up to the plate, his dominance kicked in as his tremendous swing took control of the game. He won five Silver Slugger awards throughout his MLB service. He also won two All Star Game MVP awards, an exception feat for a Catcher in his time.

Towards the conclusion of Carter’s Hall of Fame career, he received his greatest award. The Roberto Clemente Award given to the one player who valued their commitment and understanding the true, extraordinary value of helping other citizens out. 1989 was Carter’s final season as a Met, the year he won this outstanding award. His dedication of helping other’s set foot for the creation of The Gary Carter Foundation in 2001, which helps out young children.

Gary Carter was and always will be a baseball great. His on and off field contributions can arguably be compared to the likes of Roberto Clemente as well as Willie Mays and Phil Neikro. Carter’s career was one of a kind and his famous smile will never be forgotten. “The Kid” was just 57 years old.

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