Posted by: Namar | February 20, 2012

Remembering Gary Carter

Gary Carter passed over last week and there are a couple of things that come to mind worth sharing.

Thousands of fans shared their stories of Carter’s graciousness, courtesy and good nature. These stories weren’t new and none of them were particularly poignant. There were countless stories of how Carter gave of himself  with autographs, letter, personal visits, phone calls and kind words. The media leaned on him for quotes–good one–when everyone else was too tired, or angry, or embarrassed to talk.

Fans were eager to share them with each other and the watching-listening world. But where the right people paying attention? If every professional athlete could hear how much Carter meant to these folks, how this fine athlete will be remembered by so many not for what he achieved on the field or in the record books, but rather for the kind of person he was and how he treated people.

Hearing those stories begs the question: why is this so rare? It may not come natural to most athletes to be able to do this so well, but it isn’t about just doing it well, –it’s about just doing it at all. It’s treating fans as people who matter, who have worth and who don’t really want your game-used item.  What they want is to be recognized by the athlete as their fan. Carter did this. Naturally.

There’s another thing that tells you that Carter had a different perspective than most. In 1986, when Carter singled and scored a run in the 10th inning of game 6 against the Red Sox, the Mets were still trailing by a run with 2 out. Nevertheless, Carter put on his catching gear, expecting the game would continue …even though his team was still being behind… with two outs. What followed, of course, was the most dramatic comeback in World Series history (until last year’s Cardinals comeback in game 6).  He was expecting to play on.

Wherever he is now, Carter has his gear on and is ready to play.

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Responses

  1. I was fortunate to have also met Gary Carter outside of the baseball arena. We met at the 1988 George HW Bush (the first one) innaugaration as one of our party was the producer of the “Let’s Go Mets” video. Gary was gracious and even seemed to shy away from our praise of his on the field accomplishments. I remembered thinking that he didn’t want to be praised or remembered for his baseball accomplishments. There was no ego, just a gregarious guy named Gary who was just as excited as we were to attend this historic event.

    While never a Mets fan, I was still deeply saddened when I’d heard about his passing.

    I think we often lose site of what people bring to the table outside of their “career” or profession. While some bring great technologies and changes to the world, I’d prefer that we focus on their humanity and how they treated everyone while they were here.


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