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The Kid Stays In the Picture

Gary Carter hasn't been this big of a Mets annoyance in 33 years.

It's one thing to publicly campaign to replace Willie Randolph on a nationally-broadcast radio program. It's another to do what he did in a 3-game stretch from June 17-19, 1975.

Carter was just a kid then, as opposed to "The Kid," in his first full major league season, and he'd yet to establish his Hall of Fame potential. A series against the Mets would take care of that.

The Expos took 3 of 4 games from the Mets over those 3 days, and in that series, Carter may have put on the greatest one man Mets-killer show this side of Chipper Jones.

* In Game 1 of a doubleheader, Carter, playing right field, went 2-for-3 with a home run, and his 3-run home run against Jon Matlack in the 5th inning gave the Expos a 6-5 lead, which held up as the final score.

* In Game 2 he again played right field and went 1-for-2 with 3 walks. Carter walked in the eighth and was intentionally walked in the 10th in situations in which he could have put the Expos ahead. That avoidance led to an eventual 5-2, 11-inning win for the Mets.

* The next day, Carter started in right field and moved to catcher, with the Expos trailing, 6-3. Carter went to work immediately, throwing Gene Clines out trying to steal to end the eighth. Then, in the 9th, with the Expos down, 6-4, with the bases loaded and two outs, Carter singled to drive in 2 runs, tying the score. The Expos got a walk-off win in the 10th on Pete Mackanin's RBI single.

* In the series finale, Carter closed in grand fashion. Again shifting from right field to catcher late in the game, Carter showed no signs of any fatigue. The game stretched long and Carter had 3 hits in extra-innings. The last was a bases-loaded single with one out in the 13th, to give the Expos a walk-off win.

Carter finished the series 9-for-14 with 7 walks and 7 RBI, in helping the Expos to 3 wins in 4 games. The Mets, who entered the series 1 1/2 games out of first place, dropped 3 1/2 back by the time the series concluded. They would never get any closer. Wrote Parton Keese in the New York Times after the series finale:

"Add Gary Carter to the list of people the New York Mets won't invite to their parties."

True Metcarters know...Gary Carter had 5 walk-off hits for the Mets (including postseason): 3 singles and 2 home runs.

Also of note, newest Met Nick Evans is the ideal player from this website's perspective. He has both of Binghamton's walk-off hits this season. He singled in the winning run to beat the Trenton Thunder on April 21 and singled in the winning run in the 12th inning to beat the New Britain Rock Cats on May 15. (Thanks to Binghamton play-by-play broadcaster Rob Ford for the info.)

Comments

Anonymous said…
"We all remember George Bamberger was replaced in June in California."
--Gary Carter...though he later clarified that "the Bambergers have been much on my mind the last days as I am bidding on eBay for a couch that was once sold at Bamberger's, and I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, and particularly for the Bamberger family was in any way offensive. I certainly had no intention of that, whatsoever. My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to, and I'd be honored to hold George Bamberger's seat at Shea Stadium in the borough of Queens and have the highest regard for the entire Bamberger family."

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