Against the Miami Marlins, Wright broke Darryl Strawberry's franchise RBI record with a two-run shot that poignantly evoked Carter's memory.
As Wright was emerging in the Mets' minor league system, he found in Carter an exemplary model for both baseball and life. Even when Carter had only a week left in his struggle with cancer, Wright was still in contact, absorbing the deep well of wisdom and passion of a life well lived.
Earlier this year, Wright was effusive when recounting Carter's exuberant mentorship and tireless generosity. From Newsday:
That was amazing, With all that he was going through. You could hear the excitement in his voice. As far as I'm concerned, if you strive to be half the player and half the person Gary Carter was, you'll be all right.
Indeed, it was Carter's child-like glee as a professional baseball player that had earned him the jaunty moniker "The Kid."
On Opening Day at Citi Field, Carter's wife and adult children were met with cheers and chants as they helped unveil the emblem "Kid 8" now painted into the left-center wall in tribute to the late Met.
Twenty days later, Wright hit his record-setting home run over that hallowed spot. The Mets had been scoreless at the time and went on to win 5-1.
No doubt Carter was somewhere beaming with an eternally child-like smile.
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