WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Huddled in Gary Carter's office, his wife Sandy Carter and two daughters, Kimmy Bloemers and Christy Kearce, share their loss of the man who's bright smile lit up their lives. With tears in her eyes, Christy told us, "Even though we say we miss him every day, and our family is one less, it's not the same, but we are still strong."
Gary lost his battle with brain cancer earlier this year at the age of 57. His wife Sandy misses him very much. "He was positive and had no fear, he had total peace and he would hate some of the treatments and the appointments and all the things that go along with it, but he was such a fighter."
The Baseball Hall of Famer married Sandy 37 years ago. They were high school sweethearts in California, and moved to Palm Beach County when he was sent here to start his baseball career with the Montreal Expos. They decided to make it home and raise their family. Sandy told us why Gary was called "The Kid". He was like this little kid this ever ready battery so much energy and so they would start calling him kid. Kid Carter it was just really early on though because it was not from his childhood. It was definitely in the minor league."
Gary's road trips sometimes turned into traveling road shows for the Carter family. Daughter Christy said, "We would go with mom and dad, and mom would take 18 pieces of luggage and three children and a dog on an airplane and we would go get homeschooled or tutored for like the last quarter of every year, because my family was so adamant that we needed to be together."
When their dad was home, he made sure to go to his daughters' sports games. He was their biggest fan. Kimmy shared funny stories of her dad going to her games. "He got kicked out of one game, and the umpire had no idea who he was and the other umpire said by the way you just kicked out Gary Carter. He was like ah man come on back, I'm sorry. laughs. He just got fired up and excited and that's how he took life."
Kimmy said her dad's encouragement on the field had a big impact in her life. She is now a softball coach.
"The fact that I am coaching and I know that when I am on diamond he is right there next to me. He taught me so much about the game," said Kimmy.
Christy is involved with The Gary Carter Foundation, which raises funds for autistic children. "The foundation's annual golf tournament will continue as planned in January. Because both of us were school teachers, dad did have a passion and love for children. And children that have special disabilities that they need as much support and advocacy for it, and dad really saw that need."
It's a legacy he's left in a community he called home.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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