But with Spring Training starting up in three short days, it is time to start thinking about baseball in earnest again. So for those readers under 30 years old, here is a story about one of the greats.
There was once a baseball player in Montreal and New York they called The Kid. He was called this because of his love and style in which he played the game.
After coming over to the Mets from the Expos in a trade for Hubie Brooks and Mike Fitzgerald after the 1984 season, he became the missing link in transforming New York from a contenter to one of the most dominant teams in baseball history--if only for a season or two.
His style rubbed some teammates and opponents the wrong way at times. The curtain calls, the pumping of the fist, the love of the spotlight, and his learning French when an Expo were all considered just too much for some.
Well, that was just the way Gary Carter, the wonderful catcher, ran head first into life's challenges. And, in part as a result of his zest for life, there is a plaque in Cooperstown with his name and big grin on it. So Number 8, who may have lost his battle this afternoon from a brain tumor, was a big winner on the ball field. He is no doubt playing ball on God's diamond, hitting one into the left center field pavillion, and giving first base coach Bill Robinson a high five while rounding first base.
Rest in peace, Gary.