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Gary Carter loses his battle with cancer

Feb 16, 2012, 5:12 PM EST

Gary Carter AP

It was inevitable. But it doesn’t make it any less sad. Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher who put the Montreal Expos on the map and helped the New York Mets win a World Series died today at the age of 57.

Carter had been battling brain cancer for the past nine months. While there were some ups and downs during his battle, his prognosis had turned grave of late.  He made his last public appearance two weeks ago at a Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball game, greeting the players he would have coached this season if not for the state of his health.

But for as tragic as the past year has been for Carter and his fans, he will always be remembered as one of the greatest catchers who ever lived. He posted a career line of .262/.335/.439 while hitting 324 homers and driving in 1225 runs. He was a three-time Gold Glove winner, but that probably underrates his defense, as being in the same league as Johnny Bench — who was probably the best ever — made many forget that Carter was fantastic himself.

He had his best years with the Expos, making the All-Star team as a right fielder/catcher at the age of 21 in 1975 and later leading them through their most productive era as a franchise. He then went on to New York and similarly led the Mets through theirs, culminating in a 1986 World championship. In 1992, after brief stops in San Francisco and Los Angeles, he returned to the Expos for one final season.

Good travels, Kid.  Wherever they may take you.

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See also: Carter by the numbers

  1. aceshigh11 - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Oh, no. Horrible news.

    My thoughts go out to his family. Rest in peace, Kid.

  2. trapshoot - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    What can be said that hasn’t already been posted. RIP. a very sad loss.

  3. SmackSaw - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Wow. That sucks. Kid was my Grandmother’s paperboy way back when. I always felt a personal connection because of that. I had a chance to mention it to him when he was with the Dodgers and he remembered. RIP Kid.

  4. ikedavisnose - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    RIP The Kid I may never have gotten to see you play but you will never be forgotten in New York but I do remember getting to see you manage the LI Ducks a few years ago.

  5. Jonny 5 - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    :(

  6. Old Gator - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I’m just heartsick. Knew it was coming, dreaded the news anyway. I was at the sixth and seventh games of the ’86 series – never forget that look of joy on the Kid’s face when that ball got through the infield. Lots of stuff I won’t forget. You think about how much rotten karma engulfed that ’86 team further down the road – Hernandez, Backman, Dykstra, all their problems – and then there was that Gary Carter indefatigable smile that made the rest of it seem irrelevant in retrospect.

    Farewell, Kid. You made my days at the ballpark glorious.

  7. hemiguy08 - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    RIP Kid.

    Who’s the useless sack of filth who puts a “thumbs down” to “RIP Gary” comments? Dude, get a life. Go troll on some other sites with other losers who love to be completely useless.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:34 PM

      My money is on cup0pizza trolling his ugly head once again.

      • Old Gator - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:04 AM

        Well, if a thumbs down is the worst we get from him and we don’t have to read his sociopathic trailer trash comments, it’s a gain by subtraction, you know?

  8. papasadappa - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    The Kid was The Man. RIP to one of the greatest Mets and baseball players.

  9. badmamainphilliesjamas - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    So sad . . . . hoping the wonderful memories bring solace to all who knew and loved him.
    RIP Kid.

  10. cup0pizza - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    He was terrible for the Dodgers.

    • hemiguy08 - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      Completely irrelevant

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      You are such a small person. So sad.

  11. bigleagues - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    I was fortunate enough to not only meet Gary Carter but he was a big part of an event we had put on 10 years ago. He was nothing but a class act and a good sport.

    I’m a Red Sox fan, but more than anything I love baseball. When I was a teenager, and a wannabe catcher I didn’t have Rich Gedman’s jersey – I had Gary Carter’s #8 Expos jersey.

    RIP to The Kid.

  12. hushbrother - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Sad news.

    So the Expos of the early 80s had Carter, Raines, and Andre Dawson, and a solid ace in Steve Rogers, and never won anything. Hard to believe. You’d have to assume the front office did a poor job surrounding their stars with a decent supporting cast. And trading Carter for virtually nothing (Hubie Brooks) while he still had some good years left was pretty dumb too.

  13. cur68 - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Happy Trails to Mr. Carter. He was, by all accounts, a really nice person and was just a terrific Expo and ballplayer. The world is now a poorer place.

  14. cup0pizza - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    People die every day. Lots of them. Did Gary Carter ever do anything substantive to enrich the world? Nope. He just played catcher. Don’t really see why the world is a poorer place now. I think the world will be just fine. By the way, Carter was incredibly overrated.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM

      You feel the need to troll obituary posts to sully the sentiments of people who grieve. Why not devote that energy to trying to be a civil human being? It would be much better directed. If not, just STFU and go to hell—or at least away. Moron.

      • hemiguy08 - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:46 PM

        “Did Gary Carter ever do anything substantive to enrich the world?” – He made people happy and his fans loved him. They got to watch him everynight from April to September/October for many years. That’s “substantive”.

        “He just played catcher.” – at a Hall of Fame level, for many many years.

        “By the way, Carter was incredibly overrated.” – Really? You should probably check out Baseball Reference and compare his statistics to others in the Hall.

        It’s ok though, the world needs people like you to laugh at.

      • Old Gator - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        You’re wasting your comments on a complete misappropriation of organic matter. I ought to learn to ignore the schmuck but he’s so utterly noxious and subanthropoid that sometimes it’s difficult. Like now.

  15. strosfan85 - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:31 PM

    RIP Gary.. taken way too soon

  16. cup0pizza - Feb 16, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    heh there goes Utley with the personal attacks yet again. You mad, bro?

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      I tend to get a bit pi$$ed when people belittle the feelings of other people when they are trying to express grief over a loss. I tend to get pi$$ed when people besmirch others’ reputations with petty BS because they didn’t do anything for their own personal gain. You have been on just about every Carter post with your pettiness. We get it. You’re a Dodgers fan, and you feel he did nothing for your team. Great. Even the greats tend to have a falloff at the end of their careers. Get over it. And either grow up or STFU. Jagoff.

    • cur68 - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:20 PM

      0pizza, you are without question, a poor excuse for a person. You suck.

      • ikedavisnose - Feb 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM

        Amen to that and seriously I dont care what team you like just pay your respects and share your memories dont pollute the world with disrespectful comments about Great People

        RIP The Kid

  17. bigjimatch - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    So sad. I wore #8 and up until high school because of Carter.

  18. j0esixpack - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    My heart goes out to his family.

    I hope they take some condolence knowing that he seemed to have earned universal respect and admiration as a good person and true “good sport”

    They can take pride in that, yet that must also make his passing hurt all the more.

    I hope they know a great many fans feel their loss as well.

    • bigdell - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Best comment I’ve seen re: Gary. Most of us never had the opportunity to meet him in person, so we can only go by what we’ve seen and heard.

      One thing that there should be no argument about. G.C. played the game the way it was supposed to be played- with heart and joy.

      R.I.P.

  19. mgflolox - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    I know I can’t add anything new to this thread, but Kid 8 was one of my all-time favorites. Superb offensive and defensive catcher, in my opinion the second greatest catcher in history behind only the great Johnny Bench. Tremendous clutch performer who could or should have been a multiple regular season MVP winner, (“82, ’85), and should have been the 1986 WS MVP.

  20. mrznyc - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    God speed.

  21. thegonz13 - Feb 18, 2012 at 7:23 AM

    I was privileged enough to meet Gary in 1985, when I was first getting into radio. He was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time after a game and he was a down-to-earth guy.

    Rest in peace, Gary.

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