Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 2/16/12

I’ll never forget where I was on that October night; with the Mets trailing by two, down to their last out and ‘The Kid’ Gary Carter stepping to the plate.  I was only eight then. But the memory is engraved in my mind. It all started with a Carter single.  A line drive single into left field that ignited the greatest rally of my lifetime; and possible baseball history.  Back to back singles, a wild pitch and an error followed the Carter hit, and the Mets won Game 6. In that moment I realized in sports, the impossible is sometimes possible. Molding me into the fan that I am today.

I didn’t know Carter as a person, but after reading all the things that people who did know him had to say, I wish I did:

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.”

~ Ron Darling

I wish I could have lived my life like Gary Carter. … He was a true man. … I have always respected him.”

~Darryl Strawberry on WFAN

I had a captain of the team — Keith Hernandez, he ran the infield — before Gary got there, but after seening what he did, he was so special, I made him a co-captain. It was an honor he deserved. He’d come to me after a night game, with a day game the next day, and say ‘Skip, I’m ready.’ I didn’t want to wear him out, but you couldn’t wear him out. He loved to play. And he loved to play in New York.”

~ Former manager Davey Johnson

He was the best teammate I ever had. He never said a bad word about anyone.”

~ Wally Backman as quoted by Bob Klapisch

The phrase ‘carpe diem’ always applied to Gary Carter. He drew the marrow from life, his whole life.”

~ Buster Olney of ESPN.com

If you strive to be half the player and half the person Gary Carter was, you’ll be all right.”

~ David Wright as quoted by David Lennon of Newsday

A piece of my childhood died today. And, although I didn’t know Carter, he still taught me how the game — that I love so dearly — is supposed to be played. R.I.P ‘Kid’…

 

I’ll always be grateful for the dream season of 1986. In a corner of my mind I will stand forever with my bat cocked, waiting for the two-one pitch from Calvin Schiraldi.”

~ Gary Carter

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