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Gary Carter

Gary Carter

Position(s):
C, OF, RF, 3B, LF, 1B
Nicknames:
Kid
Born:
April 8, 1954
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 2"
Weight:
205 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-16-1974 with MON
Allstar Selections:
1980 GG, 1981 AsMVP, 1981 GG, 1981 SS, 1982 GG, 1982 SS, 1984 AsMVP, 1984 SS, 1985 SS, 1986 SS, 1989 RC
Hall of Fame:
2003

Gary Carter

Gary Carter emerged as the best catcher in the National League as Johnny Bench began to wane. Carter starred in Montreal until he was traded to the Mets prior to the 1985 season. In New York he blasted a game-winning 10th inning homer on opening day and helped lead the Mets to a World Series title in 1986, guiding a talented pitching staff and supplying a clutch bat. His single in Game Six of the 1986 World Series started the three-run rally which shocked the Boston Red Sox and forced a seventh game. Like most catchers, Carter aged quickly, but not before he established himself as the best catcher in the National League in the 1980s.

Career Batting Stats
G AB H R HR RBI SB AVG SLG OBP OPS OPS+
2295 7971 2092 1025 324 1225 39 .262 .439 .335 .773 111.2

Quotes About Gary Carter

"Behind Johnny Bench, he's the best catcher in baseball." — Pirates manager Chuck Tanner on Gary Carter, 1979

Quotes From Gary Carter

"I was out of position. I was running into walls and hurting myself." — Gary Carter on his early career as an outfielder

Best Season: 1984

In 1984, Gary Carter led the National League in RBI (106), and set personal-highs in total bases (290), hits (175), batting average (.294), and games played (159). He was still one of the best defensive catchers in the league, his only competition Tony Pena. The Expos made a terrible mistake in the off-season when they dealt Carter to the Mets.

Where He Played
Catcher (2,056), right field (132), first base (76), third base (3). The Expos tried to make Carter an outfielder when he first came up, in fact he wasn't really a catching prospect. But Carter's range in the outfield was a liability, especially on turf. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the game were a perfect fir behind the plate. By 1976, when he was 22 years old, Carter was the Expos' catcher.

Nicknames
Kid

Uniform Numbers
#57 (1974), #8 (1975-1992)

Similar Players
Lance Parrish

 

Related Players
Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, Eddie Murray

 

Hall of Fame Voting
Year Election Votes Pct
1998 BBWAA 200 42.3%
1999 BBWAA 168 33.8%
2000 BBWAA 248 49.7%
2001 BBWAA 334 64.9%
2002 BBWAA 343 72.7%
2003 BBWAA 387 78.0%

Post-Season Notes
Carter did his best to get the Expos to the post-season. In 1979 the Expos trailed the Pirates by three games at the end of August. On September 13, in the midst of winning 17 of 18 games, the Expos caught the Bucs, and on the 20th they moved 1/2 game in front after a doubleheader sweep of the Mets, in which Carter went 4-for-9 with two doubles and two RBI. Then, Carter broke his thumb in the second game of a doubleheader against the Pirates on the 24th, after he had hit a homer earlier in the game, and was lost for the last week of the season. The next day the Bucs took over first place for good. Carter had hit .370 with 15 RBI and 13 extra-base hits in September. Prior to the injury, he had hit .452 (14-for-31) with six RBI in his last eight games.

The next season, Carter's Expos trailed the Pirates by one-half-game through August, tied with the Phillies for second place. Montreal then won 12 of 15 games, to take a 2 1/2 game lead on the Phillies, with the Bucs five out and falling. Carter was instrumental in the Expos drive for the post-season, hitting .360 with 21 runs scored, 16 extra-base hits, seven homers and 22 RBI in September. On October 1, the Expos led Philly 1/2 game, but Philadelphia won the next day while Montreal was off, and then took the first two games of a showdown with the Expos in Olympic Stadium. Mike Schmidt was 5-for-7 with two homers and four RBI in the first two games, which clinched the division title for the Phillies. Carter was 0-for-7 in those contests. For the second straight year, the Expos lost a close division race to a team that went on to win the World Series.

In 1981, a player's strike split the season, with the Phillies winning the first half of the campaign, and the Expos left to battle the Cardinals (who ended up with the best overall record in the NL East) for the second half title. The Expos seemed out of the race after dropping three of five games to the Cardinals from September 15-17, as they stood 3 1/2 games back. But, as in 1979 and 1980, Montreal made a September run, winning eight of nine to jump 2 1/2 games ahead (St. Louis seven of eight at the same time). Then the two teams met for a pair of games in St. Louis, which the Redbirds won 6-2 and 8-4, coming from behind each time. The Cardinals vaulted into a 1/2 game lead. But the Expos refused to fold, winning their next four games, the last one on October 3 to clinch their first post-season berth of any kind. Carter hit a solo homer in the clincher.

In the 1981 playoffs, Carter hit .429 in 10 games, with six runs scored, four doubles, two homers, six RBI and five walks. The Expos swept the Phillies aside in the NLDS< and led Game Five of the NLCS against the Dodgers, 1-0, but lost the contest 2-1. It's the closest the franchise has ever been to the Fall Classic. Carter had seven hits in the LCS loss to Los Angeles.

Feats
Hit three homers on September 3, 1985.

Milestones
Collected his 1,000th RBI on April 9, 1987... Hit his 300th homer on August 11, 1988, after waiting 225 at-bats to reach the milestone... In 1988 Carter entered the year needing nine homers to join the 300-homer club. He got a hot start, hitting seven homers in his first 17 games of the campaign. On May 16, he belted his 299th homer off San Diego's Greg Booker. But it took him nearly three months to hit #300. Finally, on August 11, after a 225 at-bat drought, Carter hit #300 in Wrigley Field off Al Nipper.

Transactions
June 6, 1972: Drafted by the Montreal Expos in the third round of the 1972 amateur draft;

December 10, 1984: Traded by the Montreal Expos to the New York Mets for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham, and Floyd Youmans;

November 14, 1989: Released by the New York Mets;

January 19, 1990: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Francisco Giants;

November 5, 1990: Granted Free Agency;

March 26, 1991: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers;

November 15, 1991: Selected off waivers by the Montreal Expos from the Los Angeles Dodgers;

November 6, 1992: Granted Free Agency.


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Tagged:
1981 NLCS, 1986 World Series, All-Star, Catcher, Gary Carter, Gold Glove, Hall of Fame, Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Silver Slugger Award, The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award

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