Remembering Expos great Gary Carter
MONTREAL - Tributes are pouring in for Gary Carter, the longtime Montreal Expos and Hall of Fame catcher died, who died Thursday. He was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour last May.
The 57-year-old, diagnosed in May 2011 with a malignant brain tumour, received some bad results on an MRI exam in January. He had been living in Florida when he died Thursday.
By Friday afternoon Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay was said by staffers to be favourable to the suggestion of naming some thing or place in the city after Carter.
Meanwhile David Heurtel, President of Montreal's Olympic Park also said he would like to see a part of the Park or stadium to bear Carter's name.
Gary "The Kid" Carter was born Gary Edmund Carter April 8, 1954 in Culver City California.
Carter began what was to become a Hall of Fame career by playing mainly in the outfield for the Montreal Expos in 1974 after leading his minor league team in home runs.
His first major league game was in the second game of a doubleheader on September 16, 1974, when he went 0-4 in a 3-2 home loss to the Mets.
"I felt good," he told reporters after the game, establishing a trend that would see him become one of the team's most vocal and upbeat players.
Carter eventually supplanted incumbent Barry Foote behind the plate to become the most recognizable face of what was to become a great Expos team during his reign from 1974 to 1984.
He was nicknamed "The Kid" for his non-stop exuberance and his wide grin became as familiar as his brown curly locks.
Carter who had seasons of 31, 29 and 29 homers for the Expos and was not only a great on-field asset but was also one of the most popular players in the history of the franchise.
He was the first Expo to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, in 2003, the second one being Andre Dawson in 2010.
Carter played 19 seasons in the majors, including 12 with the Expos. He was an 11-time All Star and hit 324 homers and 1,225 RBIs with a career batting average of .262.
He was an All Star in four of his seasons for the Expos: 1975, 1977, 1980 ad 1984. He won a World Series with the New York Mets in 1986.
He was part of the first wave of superstar talent to join the expos in the mid-1970s, along with Tim Raines, Andre Dawson, Warren Cromartie, Ellis Valentine and Steve Rogers to name a few.
He was drafted as a shortstop in 1972 and spent the first two years of his career splitting time as a catcher and outfielder.
Carter was named MVP for the second time in 1984 but later that year he was part of a deal with the Mets which saw the Expos get Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans.
After a long stint in New York, and stops in San Francisco and LA, Carter returned to Montreal to finish his career. In his highly-memorable final major league at bat in September 1992, Carter hit a 0-2 pitch to the opposite field over the head of former teammate Andre Dawson, leading the crowd to cheer wildly as he clenched his fists at second base in his familiar gesture of enthusiasm.
As well as entering Cooperstown as a Hall of Famer, Carter was also inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
He leaves behind his wife of 36 years, Sandy, three children and three grandchildren.
with files from The Canadian Press