Monday, April 21, 2008

Gary Carter - Hall of Famer Without a Team

What logo is Gary Carter wearing on his hat?

Carter's saga is a long, twisted drama that currently has Gary in the Hall of Fame for a team that no one recognizes and a Mets franchise that wouldn't give him a career path.

When Gary Carter was elected to the HOF in 2003 - he specifically asked (then) HOF President Dale Petroksey for a NY Met logo on his HOF plaque. Dale refused to honor the Hall of Famers' request saying that he should go in as a Montreal Expo. Carter even tried to get a compromise where he had both Montreal and NY logos on his hat. At the time, Carter's concern was being tagged to a franchise that would soon no longer exist. Gary's prediction was more than accurate. The Expos moved to Washington D.C. and left the Montreal history north of the border! Carter's number 8, once retired in Montreal, is now being worn by Aaron Boone!

Before Willie Randolph was hired by the Mets, the Wilpon family told Carter that he needed to get some managerial experience before taking the Mets job. So Carter took a job with the Mets Class A team in Port St. Lucie, FL and watched Randolph take the Mets job and Joe Girardi take the Marlins job across the state (both sans managerial experience).

After a successful Port St. Lucie season Gary talked to Mets GM Omar Minaya about a career path. Omar offered Gary the Binghampton Class AA Mets job, but still no path.

Today Gary Carter is working for the Orange County Flyers... near Gary's hometown in CA. The Orange County Flyers are a 3 year-old Professional Independent Baseball Team in the Golden Baseball League. They play an 88-game schedule with 44 home games in Fullerton, CA.

I listened to Gary talk about this when he was on WFAN last Wednesday morning (10:30) to promote his new book "Still a Kid at Heart."

Carter deserves better. I've met Gary Carter at a couple of autograph sessions with MAB an The National. He's always talking to the fans is one of the nicest ex-players you'll ever meet.

The Mets should bring him back into the franchise and place at the AAA level coaching under Ken Oberkfell. He's been a winner at every level and the game needs more quality people like Gary Carter.


Diane M. Grassi said...

Thank you for speaking about Gary's interview which I also heard on WFAN.

As a Mets fan who religiously followed the Mets through the 1980's and their ultimate World Championship crown in 1986 it was Carter who was the soul of that team. After he and Keith Hernandez formed the foundation they brought together a bunch of rookies who didn't know how to win but taught them how.

With Carter it was like having another coach on the field and we fans as well as his peers in MLB all thought that he would eventually make a great manager and motivator along with his field-general experience.

The Hall of Fame dissed Gary Carter and now MLB, not just the Mets organization.

Let's all continue to make it known that Carter has done more for fans than most players of his generation and especially puts today's players to shame.

JRJ said...

Hi Diane - Thank you for reading the blog. I'm a big Gary Carter the person and player. I also think another Met, Wally Backman, deserves an attempt (a second one) at managing in the big leauges. His minor league record is 2nd to none.

Is this the Diane M. Grassi from "Renew America?"
If so, I really enjoy your work - especially the recent Jamiel Shaw story.

Thanks again.

The Coop said...

Great and compelling argument about Gary. I have been a big fan of The Kid forever, he was def my fave mets in the 80s, I was sad he didn't go into the HOF as a Met, and when I met him in 2002 after a Cyclones game, he was so gracious and generous...and I talked his ear off like a mad woman. I digress. While I think G definitely deserves a shot at managing a big league team, I don't think (unfortunately) he is a good fit for the team at this moment. Right now, a Wally Backman or a Ken Oberkfell type need to run the team and whip them into shape. This Mets team are a bunch of poochies if I ever saw them (visit my blog for more commentary on that). Wally can definitely get them to buckle down much like a Bobby V type. He expects more and gets more. Gary is too nice for lack of a better term and would be nothing more than a Willie-with-a-big-ol-smile-on-his-face-24-7.

Diane M. Grassi said...

Yes, I'm the writer from Renew America as well as other new media outlets. Thanks for noting that.


JRJ said...

Coop - Thanks for stopping by and posting a commment. I like your Mets blog. I'd like a change to Wally or Oberkfell. Bobby V got more out of his players than Willie is getting out of his players.

DMG - Thanks for posting on the blog. I'll keep reading your articles!