Tag: gary carter

Carter’s Harley on Auction for Charity

Sweet ride…

Gary Carter’s Harley is to be put up for auction to benefit the Autism Project of Palm Beach County.  Here are the details:
The Harley Davidson motorcycle owned by the Mets late, great Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter will go on the auction block to benefit charity on the Steiner Sports ”Perfect 25th Anniversary Auction,” it was announced today.

Carter’s charity work lives on…

The on-line auction at www.steinersports.com, which also includes Don Larsen’s Perfect Game uniform and Bob Knight’s NCAA championship rings, continues through December 5.

Carter’s widow Sandy had donated the sleek, black bike to the Autism Project of Palm Beach County (APPBC), which will receive all the proceeds.
The charity’s mission is to raise money to support two specialized charter schools in Palm Beach County.  C.J., the Carters’ grandson, attends Renaissance Learning Center, one of the charter schools. (RLC) serves children who are on the Autism Spectrum ages 3 to 14 years old.  Twelve years ago RLC had only five students enrolled, today enrollment has grown to 102 with a waiting list.
The 2004 V-Rod “100th Anniversary” model HD has 3,250 miles on its odometer, and is in pristine condition. Personally-owned accessories worn by Gary and Sandy will also be a part of this unique auction package, including leather jackets with “Kid” and “Sandy” embroidered inside, as well as helmets, boots, and gloves. The reserve has yet to be determined.
The bike was a gift to Carter from the New York Mets organization upon his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
For photographs of the 100 Anniversary VRod by Harley Davidson. http://www.hogs4sale.com/Inventory_V_Rod.htm

26 Years Ago Today…


When it comes to the Mets, I’m not usually one to dwell on the past.  Especially the 1986 season.  The fact that it’s been so long since the Mets’ last championship is becoming less of a fond memory, and more of an embarrassment with each passing year.

That said, it’s a milestone worth acknowledging.  It is, after all, the one (and still only, to this date) time that my brother and I ever hugged.

Happy 26th anniversary, 1986 Mets.  I hope we get to see one of these celebrations again soon – at least sometime within the next 26 years.



Blog Roundup: Queen City Edition

Tonight, the Mets open a series in Cincinnati against the Red Legs and their mustachioed Mr. Met clone mascot.  The Reds quietly own the second-best record in baseball (behind only the Washington Nationals), and lead the NL Central by 5 games over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  So, the struggling Mets have their work cut out for them.  Maybe it’s time to break out the Underdog t-shirts and hope for the best.

On to the Blogs:

  • Kranepool wonders why the Wilpons won’t just level with us fans about their current situation.
  • Trash Talk Sports puts into words the frustration we Mets fans always feel around this time of year (NSFW Language).
  • Bleacher Report slide-shows some of the best things about being a Mets fan.
  • Metstradamus credits the late Gary Carter, who never cussed, for coming up with the ultimate F-Bomb.
  • Rant Sports believes the Mets will put Scott Hairston on waivers, and trade him sooner than later.
  • Daily Stache, meanwhile, wonders why the Mets haven’t traded Hairston yet.

Mets Today is staying put, so stay tuned for the continuing adventures of our beloved Mets.


Gary, We Hardly Knew Ye

The passing of Gary Carter is a blow to anyone that followed the Mets in the mid-1980’s. About 24 hours after first hearing the news and after watching a tribute to Gary on The Baseball Network, I have developed the sense that Carter is/was probably the greatest Met we’ve ever underappreciated.

It could be that his career at Shea was relatively short, full seasons from 1985 thru 1988 with a 50-game 1989 finale due to injuries. He hit a combined 16 homeruns in 1988-89. It could be that he essentially dropped off the team’s radar after he retired. Other 1986 Mets including Darryl Strawberry, Ron Darling, Keith Hernandez, Bob Ojeda, Howard Johnson, Wally Backman, Mookie Wilson and even Tim Tuefel returned to the fold after their playing careers ended, while Dwight Gooden and Lenny Dykstra have maintained notoriety for different reasons. Maybe it’s the fact that he entered the Hall of Fame as a Montreal Expo. It could be his unabashed Christian faith. I remember his interview after Game 7 in 1986 when he thanked Jesus Christ, a remark which elicited an internal groan in my then 26-year old mind. (Life experiences have changed my opinions on that!) He seemed strangely out of place on a team of hard living hell raisers and his beliefs made him seem more seem more suited for a role in Bible-Belt city rather than in New York.

Often when people pass, it’s a time for the rest of us to put things in perspective. His teammates have been effusive in their praise for his role on the 1986 squad. While short, his Met career was very significant and I best believe can be put in perspective with just four words:

Tenth Inning Game Six.

The Mets are down to their last out and on the verge of one of the largest letdowns in baseball history at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. Gooden, having melted down in Game Five is in the dugout, unavailable. Strawberry, removed as part of a double switch earlier in the game, sulks in somewhere in the shadows. Hernandez has just flied out to deep center. That leaves Carter. Refusing to make the last out, he wills a single and then, pushed by hits from Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight, chugs around the bases, pointing prophetically at Wilson while crossing the plate. Was it Divine Intervention that saved the Mets that night? (It certainly was a miracle). Carter’s refusal to give up, his heart of a champion, kept the Mets heart beating that inning and eventually carried them to the pennant.

I was a season ticket holder in 1989. Towards the end of that dismal season, I was struck with the realization that soon Carter would no longer be a Met. I will never forget soaking in those final appearances of his from my seat in deep left field: his stance was a near perfect replica of the MLB logo, the number 8 centered down his back and his bat held the anticipation that a ball may be hit a long way at any moment. Aside from that somewhat personal moment, there are some other highlights to consider.

• His game-winning 1985 Opening Day home run off of Neil Allen in the bottom of the 10th inning.

• His game-winning NLDS Game Five hit off of Charlie Kerfield

• His two home run game in Game 4, 1986 World Series

• His torrid September 1985—Carter hits 13 home runs, including 5 in two games vs. San Francisco.

Very few players have those types of highlights on their Met resumes. For those reasons alone, I hope the Mets do the right thing and retire Carter’s number this summer (it might be a good idea to also retire #17 at the same time).

Godspeed and thank you, Gary. May the faith you readily shared with everyone be a comfort to those who mourn you here and may you enjoy eternity as a heavenly all-star.
Let’s Go Mets!


Memories of Gary Carter

What I remember about Gary Carter, a.k.a., “The Kid” …

The Best Backstop

The moment Johnny Bench moved to third base, Carter became the best all-around catcher in baseball, at a time when there were many good, and a few great catchers in the game. Two-way guys like Ted Simmons, Carlton Fisk, Lance Parrish, and Darrell Porter — and defensive stalwarts like Jim Sundberg, Bob Boone, Rick Dempsey, Tony Pena, and Mike Scioscia. He was a notch above, all-around, than all of his contemporaries. Sure, Fisk and Simmons were close, but both spent much of the 1980s in the DH role; their heavy-duty catching days happened in the 70s, when Carter was on the way up. Whenever I hear nonsense like moving Joe Mauer or Buster Posey to “another position”, I think about Gary Carter, and how valuable he was as a backstop, and why, if the Kid could do it, why can’t others? Further, why are teams so averse to developing all-around catchers like Gary Carter?


The Kid caught at least 85% of his team’s games for nine years straight. He caught over 2,000 games over a 19-year career. He was a rock.


When Gary Carter was behind the plate, there was no question as to who was in charge. He called the game; he coddled the pitcher’s frequently fragile emotions; he directed the defense. His hustle, hard-nosed play, and determination was inspiring. His positive attitude, engaging personality, and outward display of enthusiasm and love for the game was infectious.


If you read The Bad Guys Won (and you should), you’d know that — off the field — Gary Carter was one of the outcasts on the heavy-drinking, hard-living 1986 Mets. At the time, he was seen by many of his teammates as a “goody two shoes”; they were annoyed by his choice to live by values of his choosing, rather than “going along with the crowd”. Those same teammates, 25 years later, effusively praised him for living life “the right way”. Darryl Strawberry said “I wish I made the choices he did, and lived my life the way Gary Carter did.” Ron Darling echoed similar comments, admitting that while some of his Mets teammates took many years to figure out that family and being a good father were the most important things in life, Carter did it “right” his whole life. Darling also said, “Gary Carter was everything you wanted in a sports hero: a great talent, a great competitor, a great family man, and a great friend.” None of that is smoke-blowing; Gary Carter WAS as close to being “perfect” as an athlete could be — an ideal example for others to follow.

The Trade

While playing for the Expos, I HATED Gary Carter, because he was so damn good, and he played so hard, and had a distinct cockiness about him — he was the guy I never wanted to see up at the plate in an important spot, the guy who always seemed to kill a rally by throwing out a runner, who never let the winning run knock him over. It was a hatred based in jealousy, of course, and I secretly loved watching him play. So on a cold December night in 1984 when it was announced on the 11 o’clock news that the Mets had acquired him, I literally jumped up and down and screamed like a schoolgirl. To this day I remember that night like it was yesterday — not unlike one might remember where they were on 9/11, or when JFK was shot, except this was a good memory. At the time, it seemed so improbable, so impossible, that our Mets could have a superstar of Carter’s ilk. And once he became Mets property, it was all but a matter of time before they won the World Series — you just knew it.

The Single

Which leads me into another one of those “good” memories that I remember like it was yesterday. Tenth inning, two outs, two strikes, down by two, and the Mets were about to lose the 1986 World Series. And somehow, Gary Carter — who later conveyed that he refused to be “the last out of the World Series” — takes a tight, rusty-gate swing and punches the ball into shallow left-center to keep a shred of the Mets’ waning hopes alive. The rest was history.

Thanks for the memories, Kid. May you rest peacefully, and be forever remembered.


Gary Carter Has Passed Away

Former Mets catcher Gary Carter died today at age 57.  Not only was he a Hall-of-Fame Catcher, he was a Hall-of-Fame human being.

“I am deeply saddened to tell you all that my precious dad went to be with Jesus today at 4:10 pm.,” his daughter Kimmy Bloemers wrote on the family’s website. “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.”

R.I.P., Kid.


Blog Roundup: Friday Edition

It was a difficult day in Metsville, as the Daily News reported that Gary Carter’s condition has deteriorated.  The beloved former Mets catcher has been battling cancer since being diagnosed with brain tumors in May, 2011.

In other news, Oliver Perez has a new home, David Wright has new walls, and Spring Training has new invitees.

To the Blogs:

  • Bats blogger Tyler Kepner of the NY Times recalls Carter’s faith as a player.
  • Metsblog took a Twitter survey to find out if fans want Gary’s number retired.
  • 7 Train to Shea says R.A. Dickey and Daniel Murphy will receive Munson awards.
  • Amazin’ Avenue has Dickey’s appearance on CNN, where he talks about his climb of Kilimanjaro.
  • Metsmerized has pictures of David Wright apparently showing Jeff Wilpon where he couldn’t hit home runs in Citi Field.
  • The Mostly Mets podcast breaks a story about Cole Hamels and his…er…friend.
  • Andrew Marchand lays out the welcome Matt for two new Spring Training invitees.

Stay tuned to Mets Today…the season is right around the corner.


Link: Gary Carter Takes a Turn for the Worse

The New York Daily News reports that the condition of former Mets Catcher Gary Carter has taken a turn for the worse.  Keep Gary and the Carter family in your thoughts and prayers.

On Thursday, Carter’s family received a phone call from the doctors at Duke University who have been treating the Mets Hall of Fame catcher informing them that the most recent MRI revealed “several new spots/tumors on his brain,” Carter’s daughter, Kimmy Bloomers, wrote on the family website.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/mets/gary-carter-fight-brain-cancer-takes-turn-worse-tumors-found-ny-mets-hall-famer-brain-article-1.1008797#ixzz1jwOHPXPp