A year ago today, the New York Mets, and the entire baseball world, lost a great friend and family member: Gary “Kid” Carter. It was a year ago today that Carter lost his valiant battle with brain cancer at a mere 57 years old.
Carter was a World Series hero, a hard-nosed player, and the ideal teammate. His two-out hit to spark the Mets rally in game 6 of the 1986 World Series is what Carter is best remembered for, and in a lot of ways it defines him as the clutch and resilient player that he was, but he was so much more than that. He worked hard behind the plate, playing through pain for much for much of his career, but he always gave the pitcher he was working with and the team he was playing for every ounce of effort he had in him; and Carter did it all with a smile on his face. Carter played the game with the perfect combination of genuine child-like enjoyment and a fierce competitive spirit, something few other players in the history of the game have ever matched.
Last year the Mets wore a patch on their jersey to commemorate Carter, while also unveiling a banner on the Citi Field wall to honor him. But even though a year has passed since Carter passed doesn’t mean the Mets and the rest of baseball should stop remembering the legacy that Carter has left on the world. The way he played the game, his approach to the game, and the enjoyment he got out of playing the game are all things that could be emulated by every player today, and that’s reason enough for the Mets and every other team to remember Carter’s contributions to the game, and that’s all on top of the World Series he helped deliver to the Mets in 1986.