Little League Mourns the Passing of Gary Carter
Little League International mourns the passing today of not only one of the greatest baseball players of all time, but one of the finest gentlemen.
Gary Carter, elected in 2003 to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, was known for his exuberant play. Upon Mr. Carter's election to the Hall of Fame, Little League President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen D. Keener said: “Besides being an outstanding player, Gary Carter exemplifies the kind of person that parents hope their Little Leaguer can become. He truly is one of the good guys.”
Mr. Carter played for the West Fullerton (Calif.) Little League, mentored through his Little League years by his father, Jim Carter. Gary went on to become one of the game’s dominant players, and one of only four catchers with 2,000 hits, 1,000 runs, 1,000 RBIs and 300 homers. (The others are Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Carlton Fisk and Johnny Bench.) Gary and his father were guests of Little League Baseball in Williamsport in 1985, when Mr. Carter received the Parents of the Year Award.
In fact, Mr. Carter credited Little League with helping him get through a tragedy.
"My dad was my coach, but he was also my best friend while growing up,” Gary said in a story published in the 1985 Little League Baseball World Series program. “You see, my mom passed away when I was a kid playing Little League. Little League seemed to be the saving grace at the time. My dad and I became even closer after her passing and much of our time was spent on the Little League field."
In 1993, Gary was named the William A. "Bill" Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate, and was again a guest at the Little League Baseball World Series.
Memorabilia from Mr. Carter's Little League days is on display in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, including a baseball bearing the signatures of a 12-year-old Gary Carter and his Little League teammates after he pitched a perfect game on May 12, 1966.
The baseball, a warm-up jacket, Little League trophy and glove were among items donated by Mr. Carter. The glove was on loan to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum until 2007, as part of the traveling “Baseball as America” exhibit.
Above: Gary and his father, Jim (right), were guests of Little League Baseball in Williamsport in 1985, when Mr. Carter received the Parents of the Year Award. Below: Gary went on to star for 19 years in the Major Leagues, and won a World Series ring in 1986 with the New York Mets.