Mr. Carter, who spent 19 years in the major leagues, became known for his rifle arm and potent bat while playing catcher — baseball’s most physically demanding position. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2003 and is ranked by baseball historians as one of the 10 finest catchers of all time.
After beginning his career with the Montreal Expos, Mr. Carter was traded to the Mets before the 1985 season. He reveled in the spotlight of New York and was the team’s highest-paid player and its most prolific run producer.
He was the cleanup hitter for a team that won a club-record 108 games in 1986 under Davey Johnson, now the manager of the Washington Nationals. As catcher, Mr. Carter guided a pitching staff that included Dwight Gooden, Ron Darling, Sid Fernandez and Bob Ojeda.
In the sixth game of the 1986 World Series, the Mets were trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Boston Red Sox, who were one out away from clinching their first championship since 1918.
The Mets were down to their last out when Mr. Carter came to the plate. He lined a solid single to left field and eventually came around to score on a hit by teammate Ray Knight.
After the Mets tied the game on a wild pitch, outfielder Mookie Wilson hit a slow ground ball toward Bill Buckner at first base. It was a routine play, but the ball managed to squirt through Buckner’s legs, allowing Knight to score the winning run in one of the most thrilling comebacks in baseball history.
In the seventh and deciding game, the Mets rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Red Sox, 8-5, and claim the World Series title. Mr. Carter — who had a team-leading nine RBIs in the series — drove in one run and caught the game’s final pitch. When Jesse Orosco struck out Red Sox second baseman Marty Barrett, Mr. Carter raced to the mound and leaped into Orosco’s arms.
“That was the greatest accomplishment and the greatest thrill of my career,” Mr. Carter said in 2003.
With his enthusiasm, his eagerness to speak to reporters and his beaming smile, Mr. Carter earned the nickname “Kid” — which not all of his teammates used in complimentary way. Some called him “Camera Carter” or simply “Lights” and thought his affable, easy-to-please manner was a phony act of self-promotion. Sports Illustrated magazine once named him the most disliked player in baseball.
At a time when several of his teammates with the Expos and Mets, were caught up in drug scandals, Mr. Carter was a clean-living throwback who attended prayer meetings. He never lingered at the hotel bar and, in the words of Los Angeles Times writer Mike Downey, used “more ‘gees’ and ‘wows’ and ‘holy mackerels’ than a Batman comic book.”