On honoring Gary.

It is very sad to hear the discouraging medical reports about Gary Carter. After reading doctors are evaluating their next course of treatment I know from my father this isn’t good news. All you can do now is pray and hope he’s not in too much discomfort.

CARTER: In a happier time.

Not surprisingly, Carter’s illness raised the question of whether his No. 8 should be retired.

There is little question Carter was an integral part of the Mets’ 1986 World Series winning team, but in truth he played only four full seasons with the team, and 50 games into a fifth. Retiring a player’s uniform number should be based on long term contributions to the team and not as a sympathy gesture because of his illness.

If the Mets were to do it, they should have done it years ago. Doing it now would be cheesy and an almost empty gesture. If the Mets do it now, entering the 50th anniversary of their existence, it wouldn’t mean anything unless he went in with company, meaning Keith Hernandez, Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden, the only others from that team worthy of that honor. In looking at Mets history, also worthy – and overlooked – is Jerry Koosman.

I was glad to see Carter inducted into the Hall of Fame, an honor he truly deserved. At the time Carter said he was torn between going in as a Met or Montreal Expo. The Hall of Fame rules state a player would go in wearing the cap of the team where he carved his niche, and with Carter, that was Montreal, regardless of the ring he earned with the Mets.

And, that ring, as good as it was, isn’t enough to putting No. 8 on the outfield wall.



3 thoughts on “On honoring Gary.

  1. How many years did those players have with the Mets?

    You mention Gary had 4, what about Keith, Doc and Straw?

    Doc was very good his first few years and then became mortal. Still very good but not a god. Straw was always flawed. A poor fielder with a good arm and a monster bat that struck out a lot. He carried the team every year for a month or so and then disappeared for a stretch. Keith was the only one who was a complete player, but I think he was only effective for 4 years.

    So I guess the question becomes is a 3 to 4 year stretch enough to immortalize you?

  2. A good man, not a ballplayer, is dying. To determine if his number should be or should have been retired is both ghoulish and trite. Sometimes sports, baseball, and the Mets should not be in the equation in discussing a man’s mortality.

  3. RIT55

    While I appreciate your comments regarding putting things in perspective it is not trite.

    Reading excerpts from his daughter commenting on her fathers struggles with cancer it is clear that he loves baseball and it motivates him to continue. He was a great ballplayer with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

    His nickname was the kid and that is the way he played.

    I have read where he was looking forward to participating in whatever way he could in the spring routines of the ball team he is managing. Clearly even as he struggles with this disease baseball is still near and dear to his heart.