I wish I was on the show this morning. I would have loved a chance to share some Gary Carter memories. Rich Savidant, one of my oldest friends and fellow Expo fan comes off the bench to pinch hit today. He loved the kid as much as anyone. His text to me said it all.
Feeling older today with his passing. Thinking back to the fall of 1981, man that time was MAGICAL. Missing the Expos today. I listened to a TSN interview with Warren Cromartie yesterday and he was close to losing it the whole interview.
Cromartie said Carter was so positive and always smiling, he looked like he was putting on an act. But he was REAL, what you saw was what you got. He said two memories of Carter stood out: (1) Cro’s first homerun, with Carter on second base, when they rounded the bases together then celebrated at home plate; and (2) Carter sitting on the clubhouse floor, over the course of 2 or 3 days, teaching Cro’s son how to tie his shoes.
He was the best player and face of my favourite baseball team. He seemed larger than life. He never met a camera or microphone he didn’t like. Always smiling, always positive, always confident. Valentine had the arm, Dawson had 5 tools, Rogers was the ace, but Carter had the SWAGGER, and he brought it to every game. He was hands down the best catcher of his generation, and one of the best catchers in the history of the sport. He would run out every grounder and would track down a foul ball as if his life depended on it.
He was a kid from California but he was one of us, a member of Canada’s Team, that came oh-so-close, too many times. He had 9 knee surgeries but he was bulletproof. He was Numero Huit Pour Les Expos de Montreal. He was, and will always be, “The Kid”.
RIP Gary Carter.