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Remembering Gary Carter

February 17, 2012 - John Mehno
For about 25 years, I worked every Pirates home game for The Associated Press and had the assignment of getting post-game quotes from the visiting team.

Sometimes that's not easy. Baseball players aren't always cordial, and you don't have the advantage of familiarity when you only deal with a team for one or two series a season.

It can be a challenge to get what you need, especially after a loss. So you always remember the players who made an effort to make the task a bit easier.

Gary Carter was one of those players. He was always approachable, always willing to answer questions. Some of the his Montreal Expos teammates ridiculed Carter for that, nicknaming him "Lights" because he always wanted to be where the TV camera lights were. But Carter was true to his personality. He was a naturally outgoing person, and no amount of ribbing was going to change him.

His cooperation was appreciated even more when he went to the New York Mets, whose clubhouse was populated by dubious characters. It's a cruel irony that Carter is gone at 57 from brain cancer, while his hard-living Mets teammates are still here to mourn him.

Gary Carter was a good guy in a game where some guys work at being nasty.

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