Gary Carter Was ‘The Kid’ And A Pro’s Pro – Bruce’s Thought Of The Day
The good words will flow in for 1 of the best catchers to ever put on the gear, Gary Carter, and rightfully so. The hall of Fame backstop sadly lost his battle with Brain tumors and passed away today at the oh so young age of 57. Carter's numbers speak for themself. Carters humanity and passion for Baseball are legendary.
My 2 best memories of Carter the ball player: 1) His basehit to beat Charlie Kerfeld and the Astros in game 5 of the 1986 NLCS and 2) how he nurtured and calmed a young but talented pitching staff. But let me share something about Carter that you may not know.
I was just a young radio guy working locker rooms and getting audio for the place I worked and to send out to other media outlets. Baseball locker rooms are the toughest to deal with in my opinion and I think many would share that view. For whatever reasons and many reasons they are not as enjoyable as the other sports for the most part. But 2 guys stood out to me when working the "rooms".
Mark Messier will always be the best to me but that's another column on another day. The KID was just great. I was a little pleeb radio guy, not a beat writer for a big paper or TV. Sports talk radio was sparse then save for WFAN and some others. I worked for a small outfit called MLM Yellow book and a UHF TV station. yes there was another dial on the TV and no it wasn't black and white tv days :)
The Mets locker room was never enjoyable for me and I am a huge Met fan. Too many players that just were impossible to deal with. Many hated the media. At the time I didn't. I just had a job to do.
Gary Carter win or lose, 3 hits or the collar, winning or losing streak ALWAYS made at least time for a question or 2. ALWAYS. Without exception he lived up to his obligation even if he was annoyed, mad, sad, glad, pissed, angry. It didn't matter. I will always remember that and always be grateful that I could do my job by at least getting something good down on tape to bring back to the work place.
Now this may not mean anything to anyone but me and I get that. But to me it was huge then and as we mourn his passing, and it is huge today!
It can be intimidating working these locker rooms especially when you are young and dumb. I am thankful Carter not only made time but also never belittled me or anyone I ever remember for a "dumb" question. I must have asked a few in his mind but he never made me feel small or dumb. That is class in my view and I miss it sometimes.
Carter the player was solid and great but I will let others speak to that. My favorite memory is as a kid already not comfortable in that environment getting a break by having someone to interview that was admired and beloved, as professional and respectful as could be.
Thank you Gary and may God bless you and your family!