New York Mets Great Gary Carter Has Passed Away

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New York Mets Remember 'The Kid': Official Team Statements

The sudden and saddening news of Hall of Famer Gary Carter's death has the baseball world mourning, and the New York Mets, who Carter helped win the 1986 World Series, released an official statement after his passing, courtesy of Mets.com:

"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."

Others associated with Carter during his time in New York also offered statements to team's website:

General Manager Frank Cashen: "The genesis of the trade was that we wanted to add a big bat to the lineup. He did that right away, but perhaps more importantly was the way he handled our young pitchers. He was the perfect guy for so many reasons."

Manager Davey Johnson: "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."

Teammate Darryl Strawberry: "What he added to the team was character. His approach to the game was contagious. It spread to the rest of us. He helped each of us understand what it took to win."

Teammate Dwight Gooden: "I relied on Gary for everything when I was on the mound including location, what pitch to throw and when. Even when I didn't have my best stuff, he found a way to get me through the game. He was just a warrior on the field."

Teammate Wally Backman: "He was like a big brother to me. I always went to him for advice. No matter what time of day it was, he always had time for you."

Teammate Tim Teufel: "The baseball community has lost a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person. He was a good man and will be missed terribly."

It is clear, from the words spoken by those who knew him so well and from his contributions to the game of baseball, that Gary Carter will be dearly missed.

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Remembering "The Kid": Reaction To Gary Carter's Passing

In short time, the baseball world was jolted by Thursday evening's news of the passing of former Mets catcher Gary Carter. A member of the 2003 Hall of Fame class, Carter was one of the most beloved players in Mets history. He passed away Thursday in Palm Beach, Fla., due to brain cancer. He was 57.

Carter played in New York from 1985-89, as well as for the Montreal Expos, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Culver City, Calif., native entered the Hall of Fame as an Expo and retired with a .262 batting average, 324 home runs and 1,225 RBIs. In his 19-year career, Carter won three Gold Glove Awards, two five Silver Slugger Awards and earned a berth in the All Star game 11 times (earning MVP honors twice).

Of course, Carter was most famous for his role in propelling the Mets to the 1986 World Series championship -- an achievement he repeatedly noted as one of his most precious.

"Nothing will ever replace the moment when Jesse Orosco struck out Marty Barrett to end Game 7, and I was able to go out and jump in his arms," Carter said when he was elected to the Hall of Fame. "That was my biggest thrill."

Here are some of the most poignant reactions from around the web in memory of Carter:

Tom Verducci, SI.com:

Try as I might as a witness to his five years in New York as a catcher for the Mets, I cannot conjure a single image of Gary Carter with anything but a smile on his face. I have no recollection of a gloomy Carter, not even as his knees began to announce a slow surrender, his bat grew slow and weary or as his teammates, renowned masters of the dark arts, chided him for his well-displayed rectitude.

Tom Seaver, Hall of Fame Mets pitcher (from an outstanding compliation of reactions from The Wall Street Journal):

"No one loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. No one enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. He gave you 110 percent and played the most grueling position on the field and that was something special."

Pierre Elliott Trudeau, former prime minister of Canada, in The New York Times' obituary for Carter:

"I am certainly happy that I don't have to run for election against Gary Carter."

Daryl Strawberry, former Mets outfielder, on SNY (via MetsBlog.com):

"Gary Carter smiled because he was free. He was free inside. He loved playing the game, and he played the game the right way. ... He would get in your face if he had to. He was very vocal and said what he had to say, and you respected him for that. ... I always listened to Gary. I always loved him. I've always had nothing but respect for him. ... He was an example of what a professional athlete was supposed to be. Mookie was the same way. ... He would never talk about you in the press or backstab you. ... Gary was real. The rest of us screwed up. He was real. When I look back and think about what he meant to us, not just as a player, but as the character of a man, that's what you live for. ... What a tremendous man. I always respect him more for his character than as a baseball player."

Johnny Bench, Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds catcher:

And finally, a truly remarkable moment in baseball history captured on video: Gary Carter's last Major League at-bat


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Gary Carter (1954-2012): 2003 Hall Of Fame Speech From "The Kid"

New York Mets great and former catcher, Gary Carter, passed away Thursday, after a long battle with brain cancer. The news was delivered by Carter's daughter almost nine years after Carter was enshrined into the Baseball Hall Of Fame as a member of the class of 2003, which also included Eddie Murray.

Carter entered Cooperstown as a Montreal Expo, a team he spent 11 seasons with, but "The Kid" will be remembered in New York as a Met and the man who helped the 1986 Amazins win the World Series crown over the Boston Red Sox.

"The greatest thrill of my career, certainly was that amazing '86 World Series," Carter said in his Hall of Fame speech in '03. "Nothing will ever ever top that, and the memories will last forever."

"All of you that were there, everybody, will remember that dramatic Game 6 and certainly the way we came back in that series. So, all you Mets fans out there, god bless you! '86!"

The way Carter played can be easily summed up in the first few paragraph of his speech:

"I had a dream as a young boy, like all these Hall of Famers up here, to be a professional athlete," said Carter. "You see, I've always been a fan of the game first and a ball player second," Carter said. "Maybe, that's why, I had the love and passion for this great game so much."

Below is the full length video of Carter's '03 Hall Of Fame speech.

Baseball Hall of Fame - Gary Carter: Speech 2003 (via TheBaseballHall)

For more on the death of Gary Carter, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream. To discuss the career of "The Kid: visit the SB Nation blog Amazin' Ave.

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