Hall of Fame Catcher Gary Carter Dies at 57
Gary Carter, an 11-time All Star and three-time Gold Glove winner died in hospice care Thursday at the age of 57 after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May 2011.
"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."
Though Carter’s former teammates were aware of his situation had become dire in recent weeks, his death hit the Mets like a bombshell.
In a major league career that spanned 19 seasons with the Expos, Mets, Giants and Dodgers, Carter hit .262 with 324 home runs and 1,225 RBIs. An 11-time All-Star, Carter was regarded as the game’s premier catcher of the 1980s. He was inducted into Cooperstown in 2003, after receiving 78 percent of the Hall of Fame vote on his sixth ballot. Carter also set the NL record for games caught.
A two-sport athlete as a boy, Carter won the 7-year-old national division of the NFL's first Punt, Pass & Kick skills competition in 1961. He was a pitcher and shortstop in Little League and switched to catching in high school after a scout suggested it was the fastest path to the big leagues, turning down a chance to play football at UCLA.
After Carter's diagnosis, the Mets began playing a highlight reel of his accomplishments on the video board during games at Citi Field and posted this message: "Our thoughts are with you Gary. From your millions of fans and the New York Mets."
Carter’s signature moment with the Mets came against the Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The Mets were trailing 5-3 with two outs in the 10th inning and facing elimination, when Carter singled to left field against Calvin Schiraldi. The hit started the fames rally that ended with Mookie Wilson’s grounder through first baseman Bill Buckner’s legs. The Mets then won Game 7 to claim the franchise’s second world championship.