Yesterday afternoon I walked into Sports Clips to get my hair cut (let's just say it had gotten a bit long over the past few months) and on the TV I saw them talking about Gary Carter. I knew he had brain cancer and I knew his death was inevitable. But it still came as something of a shock.
I watched Carter play for the Expos and for the Mets. Toward the end of his career the stress and fatigue of playing behind the plate had caught up with him. But for a few years, "The Kid" was nothing short of magic.
His crowning achievement was winning a World Series ring with the Mets in 1986. In Game 6 the Mets were trailing by two runs in the bottom of the 10th and were down to their last out. Gary Carter picked up a line drive base hit to left field that sparked the most improbable rally in World Series history.
Gary Carter was a class act and, to use an old baseball cliche, he played the game right. He treated every day on the field as if it would be his last. I think there's probably a lesson in that for all of us.
Gary's time on this world was cut way too short. We never know when we're going to get the hook; so take advantage of this life while it's here.
Rest in peace, Gary.