Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, who helped lead the New York Mets to a World Series title in 1986, died Thursday. He was ...
57. Carter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor last May. (Feb. 16)
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[Location - Date:UNDATED 02/15/12][Source:AP Images][VO:][VOICE-OVER:David Ferry]TRACK#1 Gary Carter was the National League's top catcher from the late 1970s through the mid 1980s, earning 11 All-Star berths, five Silver Slugger awards and three Gold Gloves. He made his big league debut with the Expos in September 1974 and earned his first All-Star nod as an outfielder the following season. He eventually became Montreal's starting catcher remained one of the team's top power hitters through 1984.The Expos made their lone postseason appearance in 1981, winning the division series before falling one win short of the World Series. The man known as "Kid" was magnificent that fall, leading the Expos with a .429 average, a .714 slugging average, two homers, four doubles and six RBIs.Montreal continued to contend over the next three years but always fell short, leading management to believe Carter might be the root of their problems despite his productivity. He was dealt in December 1984 to the Mets, who had passed the Expos in the standings and saw Carter as the final piece to their championship puzzle.Carter became an instant favorite at Shea Stadium, hitting a game-winning homer in extra innings to beat the Cardinals on opening day. But Carter was brought to New York to win a championship, and the Mets fell four wins short of the playoffs despite his 32 home runs and 100 RBI. Carter drove in 105 runs in 1986 while helping the Mets win 108 games and the NL East with ease. He opened the NLCS by going 1-for-21 before delivering a game-winning single in extra innings of Game 5, putting the Mets in control. Carter followed that with a two-homer game at Fenway Park in Game 4 en route to a .276 average and nine RBI in the World Series. Carter's production began to wane as he underwent numerous knee surgeries while with the Mets. He became the fourth catcher in major league history to hit 300 career homers, but he had to endure a 64-game homerless drought before he finally reached the milestone on August 11, 1988 at Wrigley Field. The Mets allowed Carter to become a free agent in the fall of 1989 after he hit .183 in 50 games. He played three more seasons as a backup catcher, one each with the Giants and Dodgers before ending his career in Montreal, where it began. He left the sport with a .262 average, 324 home runs and 1,225 RBI. Carter had to wait six years of eligibility before he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 despite his impressive body of work.He managed the Mets' Gulf Coast team in 2005 and skippered the Long Island Ducks in 2008 and '09 before becoming head coach at Palm Beach Atlantic in 2010.Carter had just completed his second season at Palm Beach when he was diagnosed with four inoperable brain tumors in May 2011. Carter had to battle the tumors through radiation, but more tumors were found the following January. Carter was just 57 when he died.Dave Ferry, Associated Press