Former teammate Darryl Strawberry said Gary Carter added character to the New York Mets of the 1980s, adding that his approach to the game was contagious.
Carter died Thursday at 57, nine months after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
Carter was a Hall of Fame catcher, spending most of his 19 major league seasons with the Montreal Expos and Mets. The 11-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner hit .262 with 324 home runs and 1,225 RBIs.
He did some of his best hitting on baseball's biggest stage, named the MVP of the All-Star game in 1981 and '84 before hitting .276 with two homers and nine RBIs for the Mets in the 1986 World Series. He was mired in a 1-for-21 slump in the 1986 NLCS before his walk-off single in Game 5, and he batted .314 the rest of the postseason.
Carter also was the Expos' top hitter in the 1981 postseason, batting .429 with two homers, four doubles, six RBIs and six runs scored in the team's only playoff appearance.
He ranked fourth on the all-time list for catchers in homers, doubles and RBIs at the time of his retirement in 1992 yet had to wait six years of eligibility before he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.
Carter had just completed his second season as head coach at Palm Beach Atlantic when the brain tumor was discovered last May.
Pirates win arbitration case
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates have won their arbitration case with Garrett Jones and will pay the outfielder $2.25 million this year. Jones hit .243 with 16 homers, 30 doubles and 58 RBIs for the Bucs last season. The Pirates avoided arbitration with third baseman Casey McGehee (mih-GEE') by working out a one-year pact worth just over $2.5 million.
Teams finished with a 5-2 lead in arbitration decisions this year, their 14th winning record in 16 years.
Bulls blow huge lead, beat Celtics anyway...Pacers halt skid, extend Nets' slide
UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Bulls played their fourth straight game without reigning MVP Derrick Rose and still managed to beat the Boston Celtics despite blowing a 16-point lead.
Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng (LOO'-uhl dehng) each scored 23 points as the Bulls topped the Celts 89-80. Taj Gibson's layup triggered a 12-point run that broke a 69-all tie and pushed Chicago to its seventh win in eight games.
The Bulls lead the NBA with 25 wins.
In other NBA action, Blake Griffin had another double-double and the Los Angeles Clippers erased an 18-point deficit to send Portland to its fourth straight home loss, 74-71. Griffin had 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who won at Portland for the first time in seven tries to take a 2 ½-game lead over the Lakers for the Pacific Division lead.
—Danny Granger poured in 32 points and Indiana ended its five-game skid while dealing New Jersey its eighth consecutive loss, 93-88. Granger played almost 42 minutes and shot 10-for-20 despite playing on a sprained left ankle.
League announces Slam Dunk, 3-Point participants
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has announced the participants in the three-point shooting challenge and the slam dunk contest for All-Star weekend next Saturday.
Miami teammates Mario Chalmers and James Jones will heave three-point attempts with Orlando's Ryan Anderson, Atlanta's Joe Johnson, Kevin Love of Minnesota and Anthony Morrow of New Jersey.
Houston's Chase Budinger (BUD'-ihn-jur), Indiana's Paul George, Iman Shumpert of New York and Derrick Williams of Minnesota will vie for the slam dunk title.
James doesn't rule out a return to Cleveland
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James says he wouldn't rule out playing again for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Back in the city where he began his NBA career for a game against the Cavaliers Friday night, Miami's All-Star forward says Thursday he could see himself playing in Cleveland. He went on to say that if he decided to return he hopes "the fans would accept me."
James played seven seasons for the Cavs before leaving as a free agent in July 2010.
Blackhawks end skid
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers were among the NHL's hottest teams heading into Thursday's schedule, while the Chicago Blackhawks were among the coldest. But the Hawks ended a nine-game losing streak by scoring four times in the first 10 minutes of a 4-2 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Jonathan Toews (tayz) scored on a penalty shot to spark the four-goal outburst. Toews and Nick Leddy tallied 62 seconds apart during the first 2:07 of the game before goals by Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa (HOH'-sah) made it 4-0.
Toews and Hossa each finished with a goal and an assist, and Brent Seabrook set up two goals as the Blackhawks won for the first time since January 20.
The Rangers had been 8-1-1 in their previous 10 games.
Also on ice, St. Louis is within three points of Western Conference-leading Detroit after T.J. Oshie (OH'-shee) provided a goal and an assist in the Blues' 5-1 win over the New York Islanders. Brian Elliott stopped 26 shots and blanked the Isles after Frans Nielsen scored in the opening minute.
Philadelphia spotted Buffalo a 2-0 lead before Max Talbot and Wayne Simmonds scored twice to lead the Flyers past the Sabres 7-2. Claude Giroux (jih-ROO') had five assists to move back into second place in the NHL scoring race, two points behind Evgeni Malkin.
Martin St. Louis (mahr-TAN' san loo-EE') scored at 4:27 of overtime to give Tampa Bay a 6-5 win over San Jose. St. Louis and Steven Stamkos had two goals apiece as the Lightning climbed within six points of Toronto for the final Eastern Conference playoff slot.
Dallas beat Calgary 3-2 on Mike Ribeiro's (rih-BEHR'-ohz) goal at 2:01 of overtime. Steve Ott and Adam Burish also scored in the Stars' second victory in six games.
Evander Kane scored twice in regulation before providing the winning tally in the fourth shootout round to lift Winnipeg past Minnesota 4-3. The Wild have gone 5-17-5 in their last 27 contests since taking over the Western Conference lead.
Phoenix netminder Mike Smith registered his fourth shutout of the season by handling 28 shots in a 1-0 win at Los Angeles. Radim Vrbata (vur-BAH'-tah) scored the game's lone goal while Smith was sending the Kings to their fourth 1-0 loss of the year.
Wings lose Zetterberg
UNDATED (AP) — Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg will miss at least one game and is day to day with a lower body injury. Zetterberg was injured in Tuesday's night win over Dallas, but he was able to finish the game.
In another piece of news from the Wings, goaltender Jimmy Howard is expected to return for Sunday's home game against the San Jose Sharks. Howard has missed six games with a broken right index finger.
Also in the NHL, San Jose has acquired two-way center Dominic Moore and a seventh-round pick in this year's draft from Tampa Bay for a second-round pick in the same draft. Moore is a solid defensive forward and penalty killer who has four goals and 19 points in 56 games this season.
And the Philadelphia Flyers have traded two draft picks to Dallas for defenseman Nicklas Grossman. The Stars will get Philadelphia's second round pick in 2012 and third round choice in 2013.
Spartans down Badgers
UNDATED (AP) — Fifth-ranked Duke had to stage an incredible rally to keep its share of the ACC lead.
The Blue Devils railed from 20 points down with 11:33 remaining to beat North Carolina State 78-73. Seth Curry led the comeback by scoring 21 of his season-high 26 points in the second half. Austin Rivers added 16 points for Duke, which put together runs of 13-0 and 20-3 to remain tied with North Carolina and Florida State at 9-2.
Seventh-ranked Michigan State has moved back into a tie with No. 6 Ohio State for the Big Ten Conference lead.
Draymond Green scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds as the Spartans downed No. 15 Wisconsin 69-55. Keith Appling also had 20 points for Michigan State, which won its fourth in a row while dealing the Badgers just their second loss in nine games.
The Top-25 slate also includes No. 20 Florida State's 48-47 triumph against Virginia Tech as Michael Snaer drained a three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left. Ian Miller led Florida State with 11 points and Snaer had nine to help the Seminoles rally from a 15-point deficit early in the second half.
Robert Sacre contributed 20 points and Sam Dower added 18 to lead No. 24 Gonzaga past Santa Clara 73-62. Sacre and Dower combined to shoot 13-for-17, a prime reason the Bulldogs hit 61 percent of their field goal attempts.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL-MOUNT ST. MARY'S
Coach asks for leave
EMMITSBURG, Md. (AP) — Mount St. Mary's University has placed men's basketball head coach Robert Burke on paid administrative leave at his request. A spokesman for the school declined to specify the reason for Burke's request. Spokesman Duffy Ross says the second-year coach was granted the leave Wednesday, a day after he met with university officials.
Ross says it's a personnel matter and the school won't comment further. Assistant coach Matt Henry has been appointed acting head coach
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-SOUTH CAROLINA
Football program under scrutiny
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Steve Spurrier and University of South Carolina officials will appear before the NCAA Committee on Infractions in Los Angeles on Friday. The NCAA says the school received $55,000 in improper benefits for athletes, mostly football players, who stayed at a hotel for a reduced rate and for South Carolina's involvement with a mentoring group in Delaware.
Lefty leads through 18
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Mickelson has opened the Northern Trust Open in the same manner he won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am last weekend.
Mickelson is the leader through one round, closing with a 35-foot chip for birdie on the final hole for a 5-under-par 66. He's one shot ahead of J.B. Holmes and Hunter Mahan (MAY'-han), with Jonathon Byrd sitting two strokes back.
Rain stops play
CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Rain shut down play during the second round of the LPGA event in Thailand. The clubhouse lead was held by Jiyai Shin at minus-8. Karrie (KAHR'-ee) Webb aced the 12th hole but left the course two holes as the on-course leader at 10-under through 14.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
Copyright © 2012 JacksonsNewsTalk.com. All Rights Reserved.