Saturday, February 18, 2012
I was twenty-something in 1986. I used to be a big Mets fan but I wasn't so much then. I was working hard and - well - okay partying hard in '86 and really the 1969 team was more in my wheelhouse. But I have since come back to the fold. You can't have been any kind of fan of the New York Metropolitans in these years and not been enamored with Gary Carter. The stories that are told; the ever-present, over-wide smile; the infectious ebullience. They had to make you love - and appreciate - 'Kid' as much as his teammates did. The wild, slightly obnoxious and always arrogant 1986 Mets were hated by everyone outside New York. In fact they probably would have been hated just as much within the area had they not finally won it all that year. Even quintessential loudmouth New Yorkers hate braggarts and blowhards (talk to Rex Ryan about that). But Carter gave the team a little shot of seriousness. By all accounts his ability to remain professional and responsible while happily coexisting with the wild bunch he shared the field with was invaluable in guiding the team to a successful post-season. Thanks for that, Kid. Rest in peace.