NEW YORK (WFAN) – The Mets honored the memory of Gary Carter with a pregame ceremony on Opening Day.
As planned, there was a moment of silence at Citi Field before New York’s game against the Atlanta Braves. Carter’s family delivered the ceremonial first pitch after unveiling a large replica “KID 8″ patch on the left-center field wall.
The team also had a surprise in store.
Thursday morning on Twitter, the Mets announced all uniformed members would wear No. 8 “Carter” jerseys during batting practice.
“Nice tribute,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Added Mets manager Terry Collins: “It’s an honor to wear his number today.”
The team tweeted an image of the jerseys hanging in the clubhouse, and later of players around the cage donning the threads:
A home No. 8 jersey could also be seen hanging in the Mets’ dugout:
“The Mets and the fans of New York always had a special place in Gary’s heart and that admiration will live on in our hearts for years to come,” Carter’s wife, Sandy, said in a statement last week. “Thanks to the Wilpon family and the entire Mets organization for making this possible.”
Darryl Strawberry remembered his former teammate fondly in a press conference Thursday. Among a locker room full of bad boys in the mid-1980s, Strawberry recalled the clean-cut catcher never had “anything negative or bad” to say about anyone.
“In all trueness and fairness, I wish I could’ve lived like him,” said Strawberry. “I really do. I really wish I could’ve lived my life like him as a player and as a person.”
Known as “Kid” for his big grin and unbridled zeal for the game, the 11-time All-Star and three-time Gold Gove winner wears an Expos cap on his plaque in Cooperstown but he will always claim a special place in the hearts of Mets fans.
“A tremendous leader, tremendous work ethic,” said Ryan Fennelly, 37, of Long Island. “He was really a leader for all the younger players on the team, the Strawberrys, the Goodens you know the substance and control in the clubhouse.”
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