Former Mets catching great and 1986 World Series hero Gary Carter has died. He was just 57 years old. ESPNNewYork.com reports his daughter made the announcement on the family’s website on Thursday:
I am deeply saddened to tell you all that my precious dad went to be with Jesus today at 4:10 pm. This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to write in my entire life but I wanted you all to know. He is in heaven and has reunited with his mom and dad. I believe with all my heart that dad had a STANDING OVATION as he walked through the gates of heaven to be with Jesus.
Carter was diagnosed with brain tumors last May. Initial treatment seemed positive, but then last month more tumors were found and his treatment was stopped.
In a statement Mets ownership said:
“On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary’s family — his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J. His nickname ‘The Kid’ captured how Gary approached life. He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto on and off the field. His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes. He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did.”
Carter was only a Met for five seasons, but he was the final piece of the puzzle that put the team over the top. He made an impression during his very first game in 1985, hitting a game-winning home run in the tenth inning on Opening Day.
He also deserves credit for starting the amazing comeback in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. With the bases empty and two outs in the tenth, Carter singled. We all know what happened next. Carter said he didn’t want to be the one to make the final out. Good thing he didn’t!
Despite his relatively brief career in Flushing, Carter certainly thought of himself as a Met. When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, he wanted to wear a Mets hat on his plaque. However the Hall forced him into an Expos hat — he did play 12 years in Montreal, after all. Carter later managed in the Mets minor league system and for a time was considered a possible Mets manager of the future.
Sadly though, that will never happen.