Gary Carter played the best years of his career in a hockey town in another country for a team that was perennially off everyone’s radar list. Yet he managed to get All-Star and MVP candidate votes most every year. That tells you all you need to know about how great a player he was.
I got to see Carter play a fair number of times when I was living is Chicago because the people who passed their season tickets along to me tended to horde all Cardinals, Reds, and Mets tickets while being quite generous with their Expos, Padres, and Astros tickets. I also got to see him play a number of times while living in Houston.
Those Expo teams of the early 80s were fun teams to watch: Carter, Tim Raines, Andre Dawson…. Future 1987 Twins closer Jeff Reardon also played on that team. I was always happy to take any and all Expos tickets that came my way.
Carter was one of those players you were naturally led to watch when you were at a game… both at the plate and behind the plate. He was that kind of special player.
I am thinking now of players I have seen in person who – like Carter – seemed to draw my attention toward them when they were on the field or at the plate.
Kirby Puckett, was such a player. He is gone now….
- Nolan Ryan
- George Brett
- Ryne Sandberg
- Cal Ripken
- Bo Jackson
- Roger Clemens
- Rickey Henderson
- Pete Rose
- Steve Carlton (the Phillies Steve Carlton, NOT the Twins one)
I know I am forgetting many. But that is how the mind works. A handful come easily to mind… and Carter is in that handful. He was great baseball player who played too many of his games in a town that could not really appreciate him. If he had been a Red or a Cub or especially a Met all of those years instead of just those few… the praises we are hearing now at his passing would be exponentially(I couldn’t resist!) greater.
Another great player is gone. The field of our memories seems dimmer….
requiescat in pace Gary Carter.