When Montreal Expos' 1972 3rd Round pick and HOF catcher Gary Carter traveled to the nation's capital in August of 2010 to take part in a ceremony to recognize former Expos' outfielder and then-recently-elected Hall of Famer Andre Dawson's induction into the hallowed halls, Carter was surprised and moved to find that his name too had been added to the so-called "Ring of Honor" which wrapped around the facade which hung below the first level above the field level seats in Nationals Park. Carter and Dawson's names were placed (alongside the Expos' stylized eMb logo) side-by-side with the names of the Hall of Fame Senators' players who had once called Washington, D.C. their home. The Nationals' decision to recognize the Montreal Expos' past of the franchise they inherited meant a lot to Carter as "The Kid" explained to reporters.
"I just found out about five minutes ago that they put this ring of honor up there," Carter said, "I mean, I'm just overwhelmed. To now be recognized with Andre Dawson and all the great Washington Senators' players, I'm speechless basically, and that's tough for me to do, you know, but when I was doing the interview they told me about this and so there will always be a remembrance here at Nationals Park, and I'm very honored and very proud."
The veteran of 19 MLB seasons, 12 of which were spent in Montreal, played for the one team in the franchise's history that made a postseason appearance in 1981 and went on to win a World Series with the 1986 NY Mets. Carter, before the ceremony in D.C., had previously lamented the fact that the Expos' history in the majors might one day be forgotten, but that day he said, "To know that in the nation's capital that there will be a place of honor is something that I'll be able to live with obviously for the rest of my life. I just don't have enough words to express my feelings, because I'm just overwhelmed, I really had no idea that this was transpiring, I thought they were just going to honor Andre and I was going to catch the first pitch, that's all I knew so, now that the name will be up there on that ring is something that I'm really proud of."
Less than a year later, last May, the 57-year-old Carter was diagnosed with cancer. Several small tumors were found on his brain. Carter succumbed to the disease this afternoon. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig released the following statement about Carter's passing:
"Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter:
"Driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game, Gary Carter became one of the elite catchers of all-time. ‘The Kid’ was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises. Like all baseball fans, I will always remember his leadership for the ’86 Mets and his pivotal role in one of the greatest World Series ever played."On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Gary’s wife Sandy, their daughters Christy and Kimmie, their son D.J., their grandchildren, his friends and his many fans."
• Gary Carter's last MLB Hit via MLB.com:
RIP, Gary Carter. 1954-2012.