Late baseball great Gary Carter gets a street, park named after him in Montreal
MONTREAL -- A late baseball great is about to be immortalized by the City of Montreal.
Gary Carter, a fan favourite who starred with the now-defunct Expos and with the New York Mets, will be getting a street and a park name after him.
The street is one that borders Jarry Park, where the Expos played for most of their first decade and where Carter got his big-league debut.
That stadium now hosts the annual Canadian Open tennis tournament; it is bordered to the west and south by Faillon Street, and that stretch will be renamed for Carter.
There will also be a park in the north-end Ahuntsic district named after Carter.
The changes will be enacted by city council in February 2013, a year after Carter's death from cancer at age 57.
City officials say there might also eventually be an honour at the site of the Olympic Stadium, where the star catcher played for the vast majority of his Expos career.
Close to 2,000 proposals were submitted to the city after the call for ideas was launched last Feb. 27.
The selection committee, chaired by sports commentator Rodger Brulotte, chose the winning proposal among those submitted by residents.
Brulotte called Carter a model for young ball players.
“Gary used to come with me and give baseball clinics there to the young kids of the area, so I think everything together was very touching,” he said.
Carter won the hearts of Montrealers through his feats on the field as well as his boundless enthusiasm around fans.
Nicknamed "The Kid," he was considered one of the all-time great catchers in the major leagues. Carter delighted Montrealers from 1974 to 1984, when he was traded to New York, and he returned in 1992 for his farewell season. He was the first Expos player to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Carter's death triggered an outpouring of Expos nostalgia in a city that boasts few lingering traces of baseball.
Aside from the Expos banner hanging at the Bell Centre hockey arena, and the usually vacant Olympic Stadium, there is relatively little evidence in Montreal that the city hosted, and was sometimes impassioned for, a major-league team over 36 years from 1969 to 2004.