I normally don’t get caught up in hero-worship. But, Thursday afternoon was a sad day when I got the news that my baseball idol, Gary Carter passed away due to cancer.
When I was young, Carter was my baseball hero. He was traded to my favorite team, the New York Mets, in late 1984 and was the last piece towards an eventual championship in 1986. I found myself drawn to Carter because of his smile and enthusiasm. Both were infectious. Carter’s nickname was “The Kid” because of that boyish attitude. I began to wear the number 8 because it was Carter’s number. The more l read about how he lived his life, I wanted to be like him.
Some years later, Carter was retired and working for the Florida Marlins as a color analyst on their broadcasts. I was an intern with the Philadelphia Phillies when I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Carter, thanks to Phils public address announcer Dan Baker. His smile was the same that I saw after the opening day home run Carter hit at Shea Stadium in 1985; the same one that lit up his face the night the Mets reached baseball’s pinnacle in 1986. We talked for only a few minutes, but he treated me like I had known him for years. The autograph he gave me adorns my office desk because it reminds me of one thing…
Every single day, we must treat our lives like a blessing. Cliche? Maybe. But it is absolutely true.
Think about it. How many little things do we let bother us? Things that, ultimately, don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. Maybe a little “Kid”-like attitude can help you face your challenges. Think of what makes you happy… smile… then, brush yourself off, and step back up to the plate.
Today, Gary Carter is gone, but his Kid-like spirit and giving nature will live on. While you may not be battling brain cancer, take a moment and remember that our life is something to live to the fullest. Don’t take advantage of it.
I’m including a link so you can see what Carter’s foundation does.
Posted on February 17, 2012, in Inspiration, Sports and tagged baseball, baseball hero, brain cancer, cancer, Gary Carter, heroes, idol, Jason Mollica, MLB, New York Mets, philadelphia phillies, Shea Stadium. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.