This Saturday will mark the one year anniversary of the passing of MLB HOFer and Mets legend Gary Carter. His exuberance and enthusiastic approach to the game led to the nickname "Kid". He was a gentle and kind soul. Those who had the pleasure of meeting him will never forget the experience.
With all of this said, the Mets Menu staff would like to reminisce about our memories of the Kid and how he impacted the Mets, the fanbase, MLB and our lives. Please remember him with us. RIP Kid.
Frank- I am still in shock a year later. My thoughts have not changed since my initial reaction. I felt that we, as fans, lost our innocence the day he dies, much in the same way that music fans lost theirs The Day the Music Died. At the time, I wrote an article on my personal blog, New York Fan in South Jersey. I don't think I could capture my emotions any better today than I did then. For that article, please click here.
Shale- I was born in 1989, so I never got to see Carter play for the Mets. I also never had the opportunity to meet him while he was around. Over the years, I have seen many video clips of him helping the Mets become one of baseball's best teams during his time in New York from 1985-1989.
Carter was a critical player, not just in the lineup, but also in the clubhouse as he became a mentor for some of the Mets' younger players and they knew they could always go to him if something was on their minds. Right after he passed, I saw on SNY his former teammates' reactions and didn't know the full impact Carter had on the mid-late 1980s Mets until then.
The Kid loved to play baseball and loved the attention he got as well. If anyone lived the dream back then, it was Gary Carter without question. I remember in 2003 I was sad that Carter was not inducted into the Hall of Fame as a Met, even though he wanted to go in as a Met. Instead, the BBWAA decided he was going in as an Expo because he played in Montreal much longer.
Like Frank said, it's crazy to think that Carter has already been gone for one year and the Mets and their fans will always have a special place in their hearts for The Kid.
Jose- I will never forget my first baseball game in June of 1987. My mom and I went to Shea early for batting practice. As we find a spot along the left field line, the Mets are ready to come off the field. We see Carter jogging off. I looked at him and waved. He looked at me, smiled and waved back. It made my day. Ever since then he was and still is my favorite Met of all time.
Wendy - I met Gary in Manhattan when he was at Barnes and Nobles for his "A Dream Season" book signing. It was such an incredible experience, he was so kind and polite to everyone. When I first found out how ill he was, I was completely devastated and by the time of his death, as much as I had resigned myself to the fact that he was terminally ill, his death was still very emotional.
I was a fan of his before he was even a Met, I remember admiring him while he was still with the Montreal Expos. Seeing him and Keith Hernandez hoist the 1986 World Championship trophy above their heads is something that will remain a lifelong memory for me.
The fans loved him because of his love of the game and hard nosed attitude, the toughest nice guy you would ever want to meet, as bad as his knees were, he would not dream of asking out of a game or complaining. That is part of the reason why I have always been so drawn to David Wright, they are very similar that way. I was not in the least surprised to hear that they were close and had a lot of conversations until the last few days of Carter's life.