R.I.P. Mr. Carter

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Sad that this guy has left us. I once spoke in a baseball chapel when Gary was a Met. What they told me about him, infectious smile and exuberant spirit, was all true. He was not only an all-star leader on the field but a genuine spiritual leader off the field as well. I recall that he came to chapel carrying a huge Bible. It was massive. It touched me that, as I shared, he smiled encouragingly throughout my talk and jotted some things I said in that Bible.

“I am deeply saddened to tell you all that my precious dad went to be with Jesus today at 4:10 p.m.,” Carter’s daughter Kimmy Bloemers wrote on the family website. “This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to write in my entire life but I wanted you all to know.”

Tom Verducci, from Sports Illustrated, writes:

In his 1987 book, A Dream Season, written with John Hough Jr., Carter wrote, “My enthusiasm for my family — and for baseball, and other things, too — strikes some people as a bit too much. My happiness crowds people a little.”

It was all genuine, though. Kid really did love God, his wife, Sandy, his three children, Christy, Kimmy and D.J., and baseball. Those Mets once scorned a teammate (not Carter) for having the audacity to bring his wife into a hotel bar on the road. Carter was the kind of guy who argued for the Mets to let wives fly with the team during the 1986 postseason, and wrote, “If I could, I’d take Sandy, my beautiful and beloved wife of 12 years, on every road trip.”

Carter sometimes was ridiculed for such fidelity, especially on the back of planes and buses by Darryl Strawberry. Mets trainer Steve Garland told me in 1995, “There was a lack of respect for Gary Carter. He was clearly an overwhelming minority — or I should say an underwhelming minority.”

He was too religious, too good, too square — Tim Tebow with more talent and without social media.

You can find the rest of Verlucci’s piece here.

Gary Carter, 1955-2012. Rest in peace, with Jesus, brother.

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