Retire #8 on 8/8
Two Hall of Famers have worn #8 for the Mets and yet that number has not been retired. It’s not a stretch to think that the Mets could retire #8 for both Gary Carter and Yogi Berra the prolific manager of the 73 “Ya Gotta Believe” pennant winners.
Berra was an astute manger for 4 years with only the 1974 season being a blight on his record. He brought the team back from a huge deficit and got the players to believe in themselves with a little help from Tug McGraw’s rallying cry. McGraw often said that it was really Berra’s managing style that enabled the players to believe in themselves and led them to that pennant. To top matters they spanked the Reds in the playoffs and in a crazy world series he took the mighty A’s to 7 games--all an almost impossible feat to accomplish for any manager. We forget he was also a coach with Hodges on the 1969 Miracle Mets (in fact he was a coach since 1965), so you can’t say he wasn’t involved or around long enough with the Mets to merit inclusion. While more well known as a Yankee, Berra deserves to be acknowledged as someone who contributed much to the Met franchise as a coach and manager.
Carter was the missing piece to the 1986 World Series Champions. The young Mets pitchers needed someone to be a leader within those 60 feet 6 inches. Carter led them well for 3 years until his career began to wind down. He helped spark that team into the cocky bunch of players who never felt they were out of a ballgame even when things looked bleak. In game 6 of the 86 World Series Carter started the rally with a single that led to the improbableMookie Wilson grounder through the legs of Bill Buckner.
I would like to propose that the Mets have Number 8 night on August 8th (8/8) and retire the number 8 for both men. The number 8 can sit on the Shea Stadium wall with Berra on the top and Carter on the bottom (or vice-versa, I went with alphabetical here) to honor both men.
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