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What they’re saying about the passing of Gary Carter

Feb 16, 2012, 7:41 PM EDT

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Gary Carter passed away this afternoon at the age of 57 following a fight with brain cancer. Here’s some reaction from around a baseball world in mourning.

Mets chairman & CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon: “On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary’s family — his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J.  His nickname ‘The Kid’ captured how Gary approached life. He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto on and off the field. His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes.  He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did.”

MLB commissioner Bud Selig: Driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game, Gary Carter became one of the elite catchers of all-time,” said Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “‘The Kid’ was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises. Like all baseball fans, I will always remember his leadership for the ’86 Mets and his pivotal role in one of the greatest World Series ever played. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Gary’s wife, Sandy; their daughters, Christy and Kimmie; their son, D.J.; their grandchildren; his friends and his many fans.”

Former Mets manager Davey Johnson, via Adam Rubin of ESPN New York: “Gary was a one-man scouting system. What people didn’t know was that he kept an individual book on every batter in the National League. He was the ideal catcher for our young pitching staff.”

Former Mets teammate Darryl Strawberry, during an interview on WFAN: “I wish I could have lived my life like Gary Carter. He was a true man.”

Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda: “Rest in peace Gary Carter. Gary played for me and was a Hall of Famer on and off the field. I respected and loved him.”

Former Mets teammate Howard Johnson, via Andy Martino of the New York Daily News: “It’s a sad day for his family, and for us. The way things happened with Gary this year, it is tough to take it all in. Kid was so incredibly strong. There is not much you can do at this point, other than pray for the family.”

Former Mets teammate Dwight Gooden: “My batterymate, my friend, I am so blessed to have played with & can call Gary my friend he meant a lot to me on & off the field with the way he battled his fight to the end gives me a lot of strength & faith to battle mine, we will always be connected at the hip RIP my brother.”

Former Mets teammate Ron Darling, via MetsBlog: ”The baseball world lost one of its gladiators today, and I have lost a friend.  Gary Carter was everything you wanted in a sports hero: a great talent, a great competitor, a great family man, and a great friend.  To know Gary was to care deeply for him, and I am deeply saddened.  All my thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sandy and their children.”

Former Mets teammate Bob Ojeda, via MetsBlog: “We are all very saddened to hear of Gary’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time. He was not only a Hall of Fame ballplayer, but also a Hall of Fame man as well. He is gone too soon for us to understand. May he rest in peace.”

Former Mets teammate Wally Backman, via Andy Martino of the New York Daily News: “He was a big brother figure to a lot of us. He was one of our leaders.”

Hall of Famer Johnny Bench: “I am so sad! The Kid has left us. I started calling him Kid the first time I met him. He was admired and loved. Thank you for our past.”

Mets third baseman David Wright, via David Lennon of New York Newsday: “If you strive to be half the player and half the person Gary Carter was, you’ll be all right.”

Former Expos teammate Steve Rogers, via the Associated Press: “Learning of Gary’s passing feels as if I just lost a family member. Gary and I grew up together in the game, and during our time with the Expos we were as close as brothers, if not closer. Gary was a champion. He was a `gamer’ in every sense of the word – on the field and in life. He made everyone else around him better, and he made me a better pitcher.”

Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, via the Associated Press: “Nobody loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. Nobody enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played.”
  1. baseballisboring - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    He was before my time…can’t say I saw him play or know too much about him. But it seems like he was the man.

  2. Chris K - Feb 16, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    What is Jeff Loria saying?

    (I love Carter and baseball and Canada but I just had to ask)

    • Old Gator - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:15 AM

      I don’t think Scrooge McLoria came along in time to know him very well. So far, I haven’t noticed that he’s said anything. Probably just as well.

      • Old Gator - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:56 AM

        just checked the Feesh web site. They’re carrying wire stories and columns from MLB.com but so far nothing from the organization itself.

  3. vipod4ever - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:33 PM

    I will never forget as 11year old going to Jarry Park for many summer matinees and watch the start of a great catcher….RIP Kid!

  4. mgflolox - Feb 17, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    The thing I’ll never understand is how come it took so long for Kid 8 to be inducted into the HOF. I’m glad he made while he was still around to enjoy it, but to me, he was an obvious first-ballot Hall of Famer.

  5. jetzman - Feb 17, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    Gary was a true role model in every sense of the world. He balanced out that ’86 team and respected his teammates no matter how they lived their lives.

  6. stex52 - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Being a fan of the ’86 Astros, I can confess to little other than loathing for the ’86 Mets as a team. Gary Carter stood out differently, though. I’ve talked in other blogs about how much I admire a good catcher; it has to be one of the hardest positions to play well over several years in all of sports. He caught a fiendishly difficult group of pitchers, was way above average defensively for most of his career, and brought a solid bat in addition. And, at the same time, you could feel the decency of the man.

    My favorite memory of the NL championship that year is still Mike Scott sneaking a sucker pitch by Carter in a critical at-bat. But if, anything, that just shows my fear of what the Kid could do.

    Rest in Peace, Kid.

  7. thefalcon123 - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    When I was a 5 or 6 year old (1987 or 1988), my brother told me I looked like Gary Carter due to my curly hair sticking out of the back of one of those cheap plastic batting helmets. Afterward, I protested getting my hair cut for fear that it would destroy my Gary Carter image and sister made me a Mets shirt with an iron on patch that I wore all the time…which I’m pretty sure was sacrilege in 1980s Cardinals country.

    He was a great, under appreciated player. Why on earth it took 6 ballots to get one of the elite catchers in the games history into the HOF is beyond me. He seemed like a class act too. It sucks to see him go.

  8. mtm1321 - Feb 17, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    I watched him play several times. He was a great player and the game of baseball will miss him.

  9. hushbrother - Feb 17, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    “I wish I’d stayed in as good shape as he did.” -Sid Fernandez

    “Huh? What happened? Where am I?” – Lenny Dykstra

    “Toughest catcher I ever tried to run on … not.” – Vince Coleman (33 for 33 career running on Carter)

    Too soon to make lighthearted posts?

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