Thursday, February 16, 2012
There Will Always Be A Kid In All of Us
After a long and sometimes painful battle, Gary Carter passed away today at the age of 57 due to complications from brain cancer.
The man known as “The Kid” became a Met prior to the 1985 season. He quickly gave Mets fans a taste of what to expect from him on the field, providing a game-winning home run off ex-Met Neil Allen in his first home game at Shea. Along with Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter provided veteran leadership on a team that had many young stars. His leadership skills extended beyond the baseball field, and as a result, he was widely respected by his Mets teammates.
The miraculous comeback in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series might never have happened if Gary Carter had not started the rally with a two-out single. He also provided the game-winning hit in Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS. Each game could have been the final game at Shea Stadium in 1986 had the Mets not won them. Instead, the final game at Shea Stadium in that magical year ended with Carter jumping into Jesse Orosco’s arms.
Gary Carter was at the center of many miracles for the Mets. But in the end, he fell one miracle short.
On Opening Day and throughout their 50th anniversary season, the Mets should remember their former catcher by wearing black armbands with a No. 8 on their uniform sleeves. They should also invite his family to throw out the ceremonial first pitch when the Mets open the season against the Atlanta Braves on April 5. Gary Carter was always supportive of his family. The Mets should do the same.
On this sad day, Mets fans everywhere will be shedding a tear for the Mets’ former co-captain. However, we can always remember him in our minds and in our hearts. Instead of crying, I will smile in celebration of Gary Carter’s life and contributions to the Mets. It’s what The Kid would want. It’s what The Kid would do.
Rest in peace, Gary Carter. No. 8 will always be No. 1 in our hearts.