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Posted at 09:22 AM ET, 02/17/2012

Gary Carter dies: His final major-league at-bat was a classic (video)

Among all the memories of Gary Carter, the “Kid” with the perennial smile who died Thursday after a battle with brain cancer, one of the most poignant was the last at-bat of his career.

The 19-year career of the Montreal Expos and New York Mets catcher ended with a line drive barely over the head of Andre Dawson, a former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer. The double scored Larry Walker for fitting finale, a 1-0 Expos victory, on Sept. 27, 1992.

(Watch, after the jump. And, yes, that’s Harry Caray with the call.)

In New York, Carter was remembered as the heart and soul of the Mets, sparking the team’s comeback with a single in the 10th inning of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox and steadying as best he could a brash bunch of bellicose young teammates. “In a clubhouse filled with bad boys and bad behavior and bad habits,” Mike Lupica writes, “he was such a good man.” From Lupica:

We have talked about this plenty in the last 25 years. But when there were two outs in the bottom of the 10th in Game 6 of the World Series, two outs and nobody on, when the team that had won 108 games in the regular season and then won that wonderful NLCS against the Astros was that close to going home, Kid was the first to absolutely refuse to make the last out of the World Series.
He singled, Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight singled. Finally Mookie [Wilson], with that slow roller down the first base line, like the whole season rolled right through Bill Buckner’s legs in that moment.
“I wasn’t going to make the last [expletive] out of the World Series,” is the way the late Bill Robinson, the first base coach that night, told it, and [former pitcher Ron] Darling has always wanted to believe that Kid said it exactly that way.
“Might have been the only time he didn’t use a euphemism,” Darling said.

“What he added,” Darryl Strawberry recalled (via Jeff Bradley), “was character. His approach to the game was contagious. It spread to the rest of us. He helped us understand what it took to win.”

H/T Timothy Burke, Barry Petchesky

By  |  09:22 AM ET, 02/17/2012

 
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