Over the years, writers and his former teammates changed their view.
“Gary figured it out way before we did how to treat people,” former Mets infielder Wally Backman told Klapisch. “We used to make fun of him, the way he’d sign every damn autograph. We had to hold the bus for him sometimes, because he didn’t know how to say no. He didn’t want to say no. But you know what? He was right. He really loved the game.”
And he proved an invaluable cog for the Mets’ championship club. Ron Darling, the Mets’ No. 2 starter behind Gooden in that era, said Carter was “the missing piece” for the club, an invaluable resource for he and Gooden. Before the days of Moneyball, says Darling, Carter was a walking computer program on the tendencies of opposing hitters.
“Gary had all that in his brain. He had the entire National League,” said Darling at a fund-raising dinner in January. “For a young pitching staff, we never had to go over pages and pages of documents. All we had to do was listen to Gary. It made it pretty easy.”
And a tweet @PeterBotte:
Darryl Strawberry: “I wish I could have lived my life like Gary Carter…He was a true man.”