Thursday, February 16, 2012

One of Baseball's Biggest Kids Has Left the Field..

Hey guys, Drew back here. Watching baseball players ain't what it used to be, as Yogi Berra would say. In fact, I find it great to be able to have the opportunity to see what the game was like, say, prior to when I was born, on the MLB Network. I watched a show today called "Prime 9", which I'm sure many of you have watched before, and it was about the top 9 greatest characters in baseball history. Then, fittingly after I finished watching the countdown, I received a text from William. On occasion, he tends to sporadically inform me of news around sports, such as the passings of many former legends like Bob Feller, Duke Snider, Harmon Killebrew, Ron Santo, and many others. I was a little scared to check this one, unless it was a simple "Hey", or "How are you?" for example. Unfortunately, I had a reason to be scared, and that was because the message read "Gary Carter died."

I have to say, as sad as the news was to hear the first time, I wasn't necessarily surprised. Mr. Carter has suffered an enormous amount of pain in the past year, and it was almost assumed he wouldn't be able to survive brain cancer. However, there were moments of hope the Carter family had that relieved me. My family went through a tough time late last fall, and hearing news of a 57 year old man suffering from one of the worst cancer diseases out there was just a true tragedy. But, coming from someone who has now seen the effects of cancer, in a way I'm glad his suffering is now officially over. Maybe he could have recovered, but he would never fully feel the same way after battling a disease that takes people down a rollercoaster that endlessly continues to go straight down.

Fortunately, he lived a short, but great life. Gary loved the game of baseball, which is noticeable the moment you go to his Baseball Reference page, where besides his name is his nickname, "The Kid". I didn't have to go there to tell you how great of a player he was, for 4 teams, over 19 seasons behind the plate. Coming from a Yankee fan who is embarrassed to share the New York baseball love with the Mets, I will admit that 1986 season was a classic to look back on. Who knows how history would've unfolded had Carter not smacked a single to spark the late inning rally in the 10th inning of the 6th game of the World Series. Had the Red Sox wound up winning, the alleged "Curse of the Bambino" garbage from 2004 never would've been mentioned. Instead, the Mets took home the trophy to many bright stars and great people among the game. Carter was undoubtedly one of those great people.

He was elected into Cooperstown in 2003 on his 6th year on the ballot, where he continued to carry his famous smile. "The Kid" proved to fans that baseball is everything but about the money, which is why it hurts me to watch current players go out there and perform every day. A majority of current players love the game dearly, but that love for America's Pastime often gets pushed aside for a nice fat contract that will earn them cars and houses and all sorts of other expensive items. We need more Gary Carter's in baseball today, for sure. He set an excellent example for how to play the game the right way, without needles, syringes, PED's, and everything else that gives advantages to players. Baseball is changing into a business more and more every day, so it certainly is sad to see Gary go. It is just a game, afterall.

Rest in peace, Kid. I'd like to give my condolences to his family, friends, and fans, who lost a great of the game today, as well as a great of our world.

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