It's hard to put into words the impact Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter had on the New York Mets and Mets fans.

He only played five seasons in Queens, but he made a lasting impact that will be felt for generations.

Friday afternoon TheSheaFaithful's own Brad Kurtzberg did a terrific job remembering "The Kid."

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian also had a great piece about Carter's passion for the game.

Every Mets blog on the planet has probably written something about Gary Carter because he touched our lives, all of us.

Even the fans like me, who were too young to appreciate his prime years. All of us are united in the admiration of Carter and what he stood for.

Last year, when Carter was first diagnosed with brain cancer at the far too young age of 57, the question was about retiring his number 8.

It's a difficult question to answer. The Mets are very stingy with their retired numbers, and if they weren't going to retire it then, it wouldn't be right to retire it now.

It's nothing short of a tragedy that a man as good as Gary Carter could be taken so soon. Cancer does not discriminate, unfortunately.

But number 8 will be in our hearts forever, no matter what.

I spoke with a few Montreal Expos fans in the hours since Carter's passing, and was truly inspired by their passion for the guy they'll remember as their number 8.

Carter was one of the greatest Expos players of all-time, and arguably the face of a once-proud franchise that MLB has sadly abandoned.

I can't even imagine losing a team like the city of Montreal did. Believe me, their fans are still loud and proud, and they deserve better.

"The Kid" wears an Expos cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, even as we here in New York identify him as a Mets icon.

It's rare that a player could be so beloved equally by two rival franchises, but that was Gary Carter.

I don't know a single teammate, opposing player or fan that didn't admire the way Carter played the game, not to mention his contributions off the field.

Carter never got to live his dream of being a Major League manager, but he lived life to the fullest until his final days.

Gone too soon. Far too soon.

Mets fans had a tremendous tribute Friday evening. Dozens of fans met up on short notice in the parking lot of Citi Field, where Shea Stadium's home plate used to be.

Where Carter made his name.

I'm eager to see what kind of tribute the team has in store for the legendary number 8 this season. He deserves nothing but the best.

Rest in piece, Kid. We'll miss you.

 

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