Gary Carter Dies at 57: The Greatest Highlights of a Hall-of-Fame Career

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2012

Gary Carter Dies at 57: The Greatest Highlights of a Hall-of-Fame Career

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    The baseball world lost a legend today. Gary Carter passed away after his fight against brain cancer. The Hall-of-Fame catcher was not only an outstanding player, but he was remembered for his great personality as well.

    Carter was often seen smiling on the field, and his illustrious career gave him many reasons to do so. There were a number of highlights that Carter had throughout his time in the major leagues.

    The positive attitude and excitement that Carter had was always able to motivate his teammates. This earned him the nickname "The Kid."

    This is a time to remember a great man and some of his best accomplishments on the baseball field.

1981 All-Star Game

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    The 1981 All-Star Game was the fourth one that Gary Carter had participated in up to that point in his career. He would eventually go on to play in seven more, for a total of 11.

    Carter put on an impressive show during the game. He hit two solo home runs in three at-bats, and he helped lead the National League to a victory.

    Carter's efforts earned him his first All-Star Game MVP Award.

1984 All-Star Game

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    Gary Carter was an All-Star from 1979 until 1988.

    The All-Star Game MVP Award that he won in 1981 was not the only one that "The Kid" won during his career.

    The 1984 All-Star Game was a low-scoring affair, with the NL eventually winning the game by a score of 3-1. Carter gave the NL a lead during the second inning of the game that they would not lose.

    With the score tied at 1-1, Carter stepped up to the plate and launched a home run. Carter would go on to win his second All-Star Game MVP Award for his performance in this game.

    Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

Gary Carter's Last Hit

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    The Montreal Expos drafted Gary Carter in the third round of the 1972 MLB Draft, and he began his career with the team. He ended his career with the Expos as well.

    One of the more memorable hits of Carter's career came during his last game with the Expos. It was clear that Carter's career was winding to a close and he had meant so much to the Expos organization.

    In the last game of his career, Carter hit a double, his 18th of the 1992 season in his final at-bat. The smile on Carter's face shows just how much he enjoyed the game. Montreal eventually retired Carter's No. 8.

Gary Carter's Debut with the New York Mets

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    New York Mets fans were excited when their team traded for Gary Carter in the offseason prior to the 1985 season. They were even more excited after his first game at Shea that year.

    The Mets opened the season against the St. Louis Cardinals. They had taken an early lead, but the Cardinals were able to chip away and tie the game in the top of the ninth. New York did not score in the bottom half of the inning, and the game was going to extra innings.

    After Keith Hernandez struck out to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning, Carter came to the plate. He took a first-pitch curve ball from Neil Allen and drove it over the left-field wall.

    This would be the start of a number of great moments to come during Carter's time with the Mets.

Home Run No. 300

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    There are only seven catchers in major league history that have reached the 300-home run mark, and one of them is Gary Carter.

    Carter was able to reach the 299-home run mark on May 16, 1988, but then, he went into a home-run drought. It was not until Aug. 11 of that year that Carter was able to slug home run 300.

    This was a big moment in Carter's career.

Game 4 of the 1986 World Series

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    The New York Mets entered Game 4 of the 1986 World Series trailing the Boston Red Sox by two games to one. They needed a win to even themselves up.

    Gary Carter came up huge for the Mets during Game 4. He went 3-for-4 in the game and blasted two home runs over the Green Monster.

    His two home runs and three RBIs helped guide the Mets to a 6-2 victory.

Game 6 of the 1986 World Series

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    Just three days after his heroics in Game 4 of the 1986 World Series, Gary Carter would have the biggest moment of his career.

    The World Series favorite New York Mets were down by two runs when they were down to their final out in the bottom of the 10th inning in Game 6.

    Carter stepped to the plate with the Mets' World Series hopes resting on his shoulders. Carter did not want to be the player that made the last out of the World Series. He drove a single in to left field to get the Mets' rally started.

    The Mets made it a 5-4 game as Carter crossed home plate on a Ray Knight single. Following a wild pitch from Bob Stanley and Mookie Wilson's infamous grounder that went through Billy Buckner's legs, the Mets won the game.

    They would go on to win Game 7 and bring the World Series title to New York.

Hall of Fame Induction

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    Only the greatest players in baseball history get to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

    Gary Carter was one of those elite players bestowed with that honor. Being selected for Cooperstown is a highlight for any baseball player.

    Carter absolutely earned this honor with his outstanding career. He was selected for 11 All-Star Games and won three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers.

    Additionally, Carter won the Roberto Clemente Award in 1989, which speaks a lot to his character. There seemed to be little that Carter could not do on a baseball field.