Honda Classic to recognize Thursday as Gary Carter Day

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - The Honda Classic will honor the memory of long-time Palm Beach County resident Gary Carter by recognizing Thursday as Gary Carter Day during opening-round competition on The Champion course at PGA National.

Carter, a Hall of Fame catcher who had a 19-year major-league career and helped lead the New York Mets to the 1986 World Series title, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May. He died Feb. 16.

"Gary was a great friend to the tournament," said Honda Classic executive director Ken Kennerly. "He was a frequent participant in the Wednesday pro-am and made himself available as a celebrity for us whenever possible. Gary's charitable work over the years for children in need was similar to the Honda Classic's efforts in the same regard."

The Gary Carter Foundation has raised more than $620,000, with primary goals to fight juvenile diabetes and create reading programs.

Carter, who lived in Palm Beach Gardens for three decades, will be memorialized during a special ceremony on a terrace adjacent to the putting green at 2 p.m. A portion of the day's ticket proceeds will go to the Gary Carter Foundation.

The first 1,000 fans through the gates Thursday will receive Team Carter "The Kid" T-shirts in recognition of the Carter's famous nickname.

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