- Baseball in the Garden of Eden, A Book ReviewPosted 775 days ago
Remembering Gary Carter who passed away today at the young age of 57
- Updated: February 16, 2012
May he rest in Peace…
Gary Carter delivered a walk-off homer in his first-ever regular-season game for the Mets. The Kid also started the Mets’ historic rally in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the Red Sox with a two-out single.
But Carter, who passed away at the young age of 57, really energized the team with his swagger.
Before Carter arrived, the Mets had Doc Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry and most of the parts they needed to be a contender. They won 90 games in 1984 and were getting close to making the playoffs for the first time since 1973.
The acquisition of Carter would put them over the top. The Mets won 98 games in 1985 with Carter behind the plate, with only a great season by the Cardinals keeping them out of the postseason. The Kid had his best offensive season with the Mets, hitting .281 with 32 homers and 100 RBI.
The following year, of course, the Mets won it all by winning 108 games and finding mind-bending ways to win the NLCS and the World Series. Carter hit .255 with 24 homers in 1986, but delivered many clutch hits in the postseason.
It’s a World Series that Mets fans remember well, especially since the team has not won one since.
The Kid’s offensive numbers declined every year during his Shea tenure, but he contributed in so many different ways. He helped guide young pitchers such as Gooden, Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez behind the plate. And his confidence, sometimes misconstrued by opponents as arrogance, fueled the Mets.
The Kid fought his cancer the same way he battled against Calvin Schiraldi in his 10th-inning at-bat of the 1986 World Series – he never gave up. That’s how I will always remember him.