Gary Carter at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York (2003 photo)
Photographer: AP Graphics Bank
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - In Port St. Lucie, flags fly half-staff outside Digital Domain Park, the spring training home of the New York Mets. The symbolic gesture is in honor of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, who spent a significant portion of his career playing for the Mets. He died at just 57 from brain cancer.
Carter is revered around these parts. At the ball field, he was known for his big, constant smile and the way he cared about people.
"He lived life to the fullest on and off the field, and great family man. Great person. He'll be missed by a lot of people," said New York Mets spokesman Jay Horowitz.
One of those people is Ryan Orr, who drove straight to the ball park when he heard the news of Carter's death. He wanted to be close to the man he used to work with, back when the park was called Mets Stadium.
"Getting the chance to really know Gary Carter as more than just a baseball player is something I'll never forget," said Orr.
Carter, the Mets general manager at the time, used to ask Orr how he was doing in school. They'd talk baseball. Orr was a janitor at the time.
"He signed a ball to my dad, and he goes, 'Dear Jeff, you raised a great son, and always remember that no matter what you do, do the best you can, and God bless. Gary Carter.'"
"He signed autographs. He cared about people," said Horowitz.
Carter was Orr's role model, right up there with his dad and grandpa.
"A Hall of Fame player took the time to know me as a person and to have a true affection for me, more than just the guy that's sweeping the floors, and that's something I'm really going to miss," said Orr.
Horowitz said Thursday night the Mets were figuring out how to honor and memorialize the Hall of Famer, "The Kid," Number 8, Gary Carter.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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