Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gary Carter, Dead Two Days Ago

World Series, 1986. Mets vs. Sox. 10th Inning. Metskies are down to their last out in what would be the deciding game of the Series. Gary Carter comes to the plate, flashbulbs glinting off his white teeth. Hits a single. So does the next guy. Etc., til Buckner lets the winning run score. Mets win the whole thing the next day.

Lord have mercy.

Just as the world is divided into people who either do, or would if they could, play Stratocasters vs. those who play Telecasters, Mets fans of that era were either Hernandez fans or Carter fans. Me? I've always liked my sports heroes dark and brooding. Like Hamlet. So Carter was never really my boy.

Except for this:

Carter, a deeply religious man, had never once been heard to utter an obscenity in the presence of this teammates. But after he arrived at first base that night, he turned to the first base coach and said, roughly, "No way I'm making the last out in this fucking World Series."

God blessim! In the words of Willie Lohman's wife, "Attention must be paid."

There's a nice article by Jay Schreiber of the NYT about the Hernandez/Carter dichotomy here. And while we're talking about Keith (my all-time favorite baseball player), this seems like as good a time as any to replay this--in my opinion the greatest sports documentary ever:

I'm Keith Hernandez from water&power on Vimeo.

Full frontal nudity about 3/4 of the way through, so not necessarily safe for work. But the play at the 5:30 mark tells you everything you need to know.

Gary Carter--one year younger than me. Rest in peace.


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