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Mets Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter dies at 57 from brain cancer

Gary Carter

Gary Carter Credit: Gary Carter (Getty Images)

Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher who helped lead the Mets to the world championship in 1986, died Thursday after a 10-month battle with brain cancer, his family announced on their website Thursday. He was 57.

"I am deeply saddened to tell you all that my precious dad went to be with Jesus today at 4:10 p.m.," wrote his daughter, Kimmy Bloemers.

Carter, who was diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma last May, made an appearance at his charity golf tournament on Jan. 15. Carter knew what he was facing.

"I talked to him in October," former Met Bud Harrelson told Newsday. "He didn't think he would beat it."

Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon said: "On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary's family."

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement that Carter was "driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game."

"Gary Carter became one of the elite catchers of all-time," Selig said. "'The Kid' was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises."

Carter, born April 8, 1954, in Culver City, Calif., was known as the "Kid" because of his youthful enthusiasm for the game. He was acquired from the Montreal Expos on Dec. 10, 1984, and proved to be an integral piece of the Mets' championship season.

In 1986, Carter had one of the best seasons of his 19-year career, with 24 home runs and 105 RBIs, which earned him a third-place finish in the balloting for National League Most Valuable Player.

He was a three-time Gold Glove winner, 11-time All-Star and named twice as the MVP of the Midsummer Classic.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, receiving 78% of the votes.

"It's nice to know that even though my body feels like an old man now, I will always be a kid at heart," Carter said in his induction speech. "I love this great game."

Carter is survived by his wife, Sandy, and their three kids, Christy, Kimmy and D.J.

(with Newsday)

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The Carter File

-- Signed with Montreal in 1972, foregoing a football scholarship at UCLA
-- Made his Major League debut on Sept. 18, 1974, for Montreal against the Mets
-- Was selected to his first All-Star Game in 1975, and won his first of two MVPs in 1981
-- Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003 in his sixth year on the ballot
-- Established the Gary Carter Foundation to help provide educational material for underprivileged children following his retirement in 1992

Great Moments

-- Hit a walkoff home run in his Mets debut on April 9, 1985
-- Named the MVP of the 1984 All-Star Game after hitting the winning home run in a 2-1 win.
-- Led the Mets to a 6-2 victory over Boston in Game 4 of the 1986 World Series with two home runs
-- Scored the first run in the Mets' famous 10th-inning rally in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series
-- Caught Charlie Lea's no-hitter with Montreal in 1981

(Michael Cunniff)

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Amazin's pay tribute to '86 World Series hero

TOM SEAVER: "No one loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. No one enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played."

MOOKIE WILSON: "The one thing I remember about Gary was his smile. He loved life and loved to play the game of baseball."

JONATHON NIESE: "The one thing Gary stressed to us was team. He said individual goals were meaningless. He said the name on the front of the uniform was more important than the name on the back."

GENERAL MANGER FRANK CASHEN: "The genesis of the trade was that we wanted to add a big bat to the lineup. He did that right away, but perhaps more importantly was the way he handled our young pitchers. He was the perfect guy for so many reasons." 

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