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Gary Carter by the numbers

Feb 16, 2012, 5:27 PM EDT

Gary Carter Mets

As we mourn the passing of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, here’s a look at the numbers for “The Kid.”

- Carter played 19 seasons in the big leagues before retiring after 1992; 12 with the Expos, five with the Mets and one each with the Giants and Dodgers.

- He hit .262/.335/.439 with 324 homers and 1,225 RBI in 7,971 at-bats.

- Carter was named to 11 NL All-Star teams and won three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers. He finished as high as second (1980) and third (1986) in the NL MVP balloting.

- Among those who played at least 50 percent of their games as catchers, Carter is tied for fifth all-time in homers. He ranks seventh in RBI and ninth in runs scored.

- Baseball-reference’s WAR rates him among the NL’s top eight position players every year from 1977-85. He was second in 1982, when he hit .293/.381/.510 with 29 homers and 97 RBI.

- In the 1980s, there were seven 100-RBI seasons for catchers: four by Carter and one each from Lance Parrish, Ted Simmons and Carlton Fisk.

- Carter led the NL with 106 RBI in 1984. The only catcher since to lead his league in RBI was the Phillies’ Darren Daulton in 1992.

- Carter is the last player to hit two homers in an All-Star Game, doing so in 1981. He won the All-Star Game MVP award that year and again in 1984.

- A member of the World Series champion Mets in 1986. He hit .276 with two homers and nine RBI in the seven games against the Red Sox that year. Overall, he hit .280 with four homers and 21 RBI in 30 postseason games.

- Fourth all-time in games caught at 2,056. The only players with more are Ivan Rodriguez (2,427), Fisk (2,226) and Bob Boone (2,225).

- Retired as the game’s all-time leader in putouts by a catcher. He’d since been passed by Rodriguez, Jason Kendall and Brad Ausmus.

- Along with Yogi Berra, Jim Sundberg and Kendall, Carter is one of just four players to catch at least 90 percent of his team’s games in five different seasons (stolen from Tim Kurkijan’s fine obituary on ESPN.com).

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Thank you Matthew. He had a great career.

  2. Utley's Hair - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    This must be what it feels like to be bowled over at the plate by a runner from third. An inevitable day, but still a shot to the gut.

  3. cool10857 - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Gary Carter was a shining example of what was once pure and good about the NY Mets. His unfortunate passing demonstrates how far the NY Mets organization has fallen because the current team and organization pales in comparison.

  4. cup0pizza - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Overrated.

    • winstonnilesrumfoord - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:32 PM

      I am a frequent reader but infrequent commenter on this site. I love baseball, and love the articles and discussion here. I especially enjoy the often brilliant commentary and wit from so many commenters – I couldn’t possibly name them all. But even as I acknowledge that a contrarian view can lend spice to a discussion, I have to say that this waste of humanity that is cup0pizza invariably lessens EVERY discussion he participates in. As this has always felt to me like more of community than a simple blog site, I respectfully submit that Hardball Talk would be infinitely more enjoyable if I didn’t have to read hopelessly inappropriate crap like this “gem” cup0pizza has graced us with today … what say you, Matthew, Aaron, Craig, D.J? Could we not take out the trash now and again?

      • Old Gator - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:38 AM

        I agree. I think Craig bends over backwards to accommodate a range of opinions and attitudes and all of the regulars here have gone over the edge on occasion, but there is something certifiably pathological about this one – he’s not only abyssally ignorant on baseball matters, not that he ever offers anything of value about baseball anyway, but he actually revels in having the rest of us inform him about what a complete waste of a human being he is. He clearly needs professional help, but it would be better for the rest of us if he received it on some other blog.

      • mgflolox - Feb 17, 2012 at 2:00 AM

        Hey fellas, I’m all for free speech and the exchange of rational, intelligent dialogue, but cop0pizza offers none of these. For people who obviously only comment to get a rise out of the saner factions among us, I’d just like to say, move on and troll your bilious, half-assed dreck somewhere else.

  5. cardsman - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    new to this sight. don’t know why everyone seems to be jumping on the overrated comment. i’ve heard “one of the greatest catchers of all time”, descriptions of carter. that has to be one of the biggest stretches of the truth i have ever heard. yea he is in the hall. very questionable. obviously a n.y. biased pick. i am sure he was a great guy. he just was’nt that good of hitter or catcher. his average with the mets was like .249, and his career mark just .261. he may have been a solid defenive cather, especially in his days with montreal, but once again, in n.y., not so much. definitely, like it or not, overrated. god rest his soul.

    • Old Gator - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      This particular observation is the product of just plain ignorance. You’re taking a very narrow view of a couple of out of context stats and looking at the tail end of his career as opposed to his career as a whole. The guy rang up four consecutive 100-RBI seasons as a catcher, was such a great hitter that he batted cleanup or middle of the order most of his career, was indeed a great defensive catcher well into his Mets career until his knees caught up with him and remained an above-average defender and nonpareil pitch caller until the last couple of years he could play. And yeah, that stuff counts. If the top guy alive who ever played the position – like, Johnny Bench – and virtually everyone who covers the game professionally appreciated what a great player he was, maybe you ought to ask yourself what you’re missing from your couch. Educate yourself first, then come back here and we’ll argue the big picture.

    • davemac32001 - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      From age 31-35, the years he was in NY, Carter’s top comparable according to Baseball Reference was Yogi Berra. For his career, Carter’s top comp was Johnny Bench. Three of his top 4 career comps are HOF cathers (Bench, Fisk, Berra) and the 4th was pretty fine as well – Lance Parrish. That sounds pretty strong to me…

  6. cardsman - Feb 17, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    sorry to bring up meaningless statistics like” lifetime ” batting ave of .262, not too good, A pretty important stat. 35% caught stealing, not bad. .986% fielding not bad. look i am a st. louis fan and if anyone recalls the mets and the cards were big rivals in the 80’s. i am not saying that he’s not a good ball player, or was. .i saw him plenty, just from an apponnents point of view. plus, here in the lou we had a pretty damn good catcher in the 70’s which i believe is more deserving of the hall, than carter. you might check his meaningless stats if your interested. not looking for a fight , but i think you might reconsider the facts. as far as the intangibles go, don’t we all think our guy has that special thing that does’nt show up in the score card. Y the way, Simmons has almost identical defensive stats. . 285 career batting ave. Leads all catchers all time, in rbi’s, hits, and doubles. only a couple homers, but played in old busch, before the fences were moved in. caught over 2000 games. Tell me that carter is one of the greatest. Simmons has’nt even got close to getting in. N.Y. Bullshit. same old thing…blah, blah, blah…

    • Old Gator - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:10 PM

      Take a little honey for your bitterness, honey. You still don’t have a clue.

      • cardsman - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:32 PM

        you mets fans are not only a little dellussional ,but on the mean side too. this whole thing started with an opinion about a player being overrated. i guess that you guys have so little to be proud of , that your standards have dropped. i guess it’s understandable considering the bad teams you have had to endure over the years. your a little like cubs fans, with fangs. have another good year guys. seriously, it is very sad about the loss of Gary Carter, at such a young age.

        take care

  7. cup0pizza - Feb 18, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    cards, don’t mind gator. Just know going forward that he’s just one of the attack dogs on this site. A completely forgettable person.

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