Allow me a moment. As the Sabres continue to go from joyous potential to hockey purgatory, (do something Darcy! Do something about Darcy, Ted), the sad passing of Gary Carter made me remember fondly how much fun it was to be a Mets fan in the mid 80s. No sport has the sense of history like Major League Baseball. True, you can catch a multi-inning nap sometimes and not miss a thing, but every once in awhile…
My own affection for the Mets revived for real when they acquired Keith Hernandez in 83. I was a Tom Seaver fan a few years earlier, but this felt like something was happening. The notion that that Strawberry kid might be something. It all felt like something was afoot. I think it was Cary Carter’s first or second game as a Met in 1985 that made you think something was starting. He hit a home run in the 10th to beat the Cardinals that made my crappy black and white tv seem to burst with living color.
It was fun. They didn’t win it all that year, but 86 was exciting fun from Opening Day. Lord knows that team (like many others) had its individual demons that were later exposed. But you couldn’t help appreciate the way Carter played, especially after years in Montreal. He was having a blast. The kid nickname was well earned because he really seemed to enjoy it all. I know he got tagged with Camera as he always was in front of one. But I can still remember the series of pitches in the middle innings of Game Six of the 86 World Series where he coaxed Sid Fernandez through a dominating series of pitches, leaving Red Sox hitters flummoxed.
Thanks, it was fun.