After a long and courageous battle with brain cancer, Gary Carter has died at the age of 57.
Carter was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1972, and after establishing himself there as one of the best all-around catchers in baseball, Mets GM Frank Cashen brought him to New York in exchange for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham, and Floyd Youmans. Carter hit .281/.365/.488 in 1985, his first season at Shea, earning him an All-Star nod and a sixth-place finish in National League MVP voting that year.
He hit .255/.337/.439 in 1986, a drop-off from his '85 campaign, but he really shined in the postseason. Despite struggling for most of the NLCS against the Astros, his dramatic game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 12th in Game 5 gave the Mets a 3-2 series lead heading back to Houston. And oh was he splendid in the World Series against the Red Sox, slugging .552 and belting two monster-clearing home runs to propel the Mets to a 6-2 win in Game 3, an affair played under dire circumstances after the Mets had dropped the first two games at home.
But Carter is probably best remembered for his single to left field with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the tenth inning of Game 6 with the Mets trailing 5-3 and the dream of a championship on the cusp of complete evaporation. Visions of the glorious finish to that game have been seared into the mind of every Met fan.
Please use this thread to say goodbye to the Kid.
UPDATE: The Mets have released an official statement:
“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.”