I don't come to you today as an expert on the life and career of Gary Carter. Born in 1983, I don't have memories of the 86' World Series team, but I can say with confidence that I remember seeing him play in his latter days as a Met. Whether it was watching him play myself as a young child or the fact that he was my mother's favorite player, I can tell you with confidence that Gary Carter was my first favorite player.
In fact it was my mother, to whom I owe the honor of being a Mets fan, who alerted me to Carter's passing. A rare text message from her at 5:20pm that simply read "Carter died...One of the best."
In recalling what Carter meant to me I think of the plaques that adorned the walls of my childhood room. My mom hand drawing an "8" on a shirt so I could go as "The Kid" for Halloween at only four years old. Mainly I think of the highlights I've seen so many times that they've been seared into my brain forever.
For a franchise that has had too few heroes over the years, Carter represented everything that was good about the game of baseball. You didn't have to have seen him play to know that, as that was the message shared by each of his former teammates who spoke on his behalf yesterday.
In death, Carter reminds us both that cancer isn't picky when choosing its victims and that baseball doesn't really matter in real life. For it was life that Carter excelled in. His approach to life carried over to baseball and it was for that reason that all of us stand her today, mourning the loss while celebrating the life of New York's #8, Gary "The Kid" Carter.
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