Gary Carter is in the fight of his life. The Hall of Fame catcher’s recent MRI discovered several tumors located on his brain. The prognosis for him is dire, with some reports stating he has only weeks to live. However, if there is a man who can rally from these most difficult circumstances, I would say that man is Gary Carter.
His career numbers speak for themself. He was an 11-time All Star who hit 324 career home runs, 298 as a catcher, good for sixth-best in history. Carter earned three Gold Gloves, five Silver Slugger awards and finished in the MVP Top Ten four times. Rounding out his outstanding career were his 1981 All Star Game MVP and key cog in the machine known as the 1986 New York Mets. It is ridiculous Carter had to wait six extra years to be voted into the Hall of Fame. My guess is the voters didn’t like the fact he “hung around” too much past his prime. Such faulty reasoning is why fans have so many problems with Hall of Fame voters.
Playing the toughest position in the sport at such a high level is not the only reason why Gary Carter can rally from Cancer. It is also his spirit and always upbeat personality. That personality will serve him well during this fight against the tumors. Many people, fans and players alike, never warmed to his pointing and other gestures that were never meant to show up an opponent. It seemed every inning he was encouraging, congratulating and cajoling his teammates. He smiled a whole lot as well, something many athletes should emulate. Baseball and other sports are a kid’s game and no one exemplified being a kid that more than Gary Carter. While I couldn’t stand the 1986 Mets I never had a problem with Carter. I actually enjoyed his mannerisms and the fact he was out there having fun. Back then he also made several commercials for the Leukemia Society. That was the first time an athlete made an impression on me about a non-baseball related manner. You received an autographed photo when making a donation. I am sure after filming with Carter, the kids in those commercials felt they could beat that dreaded disease because he had their backs. Now it is time to tell Gary Carter we’ve got his back.
Get well soon, Kid. We are praying for you.