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Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter dies at 57

February 16, 2012 |  2:26 pm

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Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, whose single for the New York Mets in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series led to perhaps the most famous comeback in baseball history, died Thursday. He was 57. Carter was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in May.

Carter spent 11 seasons with the Montreal Expos but reached his greatest fame during his five-season tenure for the Mets. He was an 11-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner and was the first player to go into the Hall of Fame with an Expos cap on his plaque.

Carter played for the Dodgers in 1991.

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“It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Gary’s enthusiasm, giving spirit and infectious smile will always be remembered in Cooperstown. Our thoughts are with Sandy, Christy, Kimmie, DJ and the entire Carter family on this very sad day.”

Carter, 57, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2003.

“When you think of the great baseball field generals, you think Gary Carter,” said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. “He ran the game from behind the plate with strong leadership and passion. The Kid's contribution to our national pastime is big, but his heart was even bigger. We’ll always remember his caring way, ever-present smile and strong devotion to family, community and the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

Carter earned the nickname "Kid" as an eager teen in his first major league camp and the label stuck for the rest of his career.

"An exuberant on-field general with a signature smile who was known for clutch hitting and rock-solid defense over 19 seasons," reads his Hall plaque.

Carter diedtwo weeks after finishing his second season as coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

"I am deeply saddened to tell you all that my precious dad went to be with Jesus today at 4:10 p.m." Carter's daughter Kimmy Bloemers wrote on the family website. "This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to write in my entire life but I wanted you all to know."

You can read Carter's complete obituary at latimes.com/obits.

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Photo: Gary Carter tags Jim Rice out at the plate during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. Credit: Peter Southwick / Associated Press

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