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:

(credit: Twitter/@Mets)

A home No. 8 jersey could also be seen hanging in the Mets’ dugout:

(credit: Twitter/@Mets)

Carter, a fan favorite for his energetic personality and key role during the Mets’ 1986 championship season, passed away Feb. 16 in Florida after a battle with brain cancer. He was 57.

“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.”

Your thoughts on the tribute? Let us know in the comments below…


Leave a Reply