Gary Carter died on Thursday.
He was, to most people, The Kid. A Hall of Fame catcher, a coach for Palm Beach Atlantic University, the guy with the most important single in New York Mets history in the 1986 World Series, a man who’d been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last May. He was an 11-time All-Star, a 21-year veteran, a 3-time Gold Glove award winner, it’s hard to find a picture of him without a smile on his face and he died at a hospice.
I want to extend my condolences to Gary’s friends and family, but who am I to do that? I do wish them well. I wish death didn’t have to happen like this. Hell, I wish death didn’t have to happen. It’s mean. It doesn’t make sense, even when a doctor says “yeah, this is what’s happening to your brain” and you’ve got a year to plan for it.
The goal, I guess, is to be remembered. Gary Carter won’t have trouble with that. 78.02% of his peers made sure of that back in 2003. But right now — in the days immediately following the realization that he’s gone — how should we remember him? A paragraph of stats? Pictures?
It’s not a thing I figured out, but the memories are what matter most. I’ve been reading our goodbyes to him all morning … Marty Noble at MLB.com, Jeff Pearlman talking through Ed Hearn at The Wallstreet Journal, Jason Fry, a guy who loves the Mets more than anyone I’ve ever met, at Faith And Fear In Flushing. I make baseball players pretend to curse at each other for a living, so I found it hard to find my own words. I couldn’t. I looked for a video, because I’m a guy on the Internet.
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