This Gary Carter starting lineup has been on every desk I have had since college.
This New York Times piece was the best article I have read yet about the kid amongst the scores of beatiful journalism that has been and will be written about Gary Carter over the next few days. This being a blog largely devoted to analytics, I thought the best tribute I could offer would be a quick look at some of the amazing numbers Gary put up over the years.
Looking at his numbers, the story of Gary Carter is consistency. Until his final years Carter put together one of the finest pieces of work I have ever seen. From 1977 to 1986 the lowest WAR he ever recorded was 3.9 with a high of 8.3. He was also durable, coming in at 4th all time among catchers in games played. He hit 324 career homeruns, tied for 6th all-time for catchers. He had a career slash of .262/.355/.439. My favorite part of all this, he never once had a BABIP over, at or near the baseline of .300. This guy was incredibly unlucky his entire career, posting a lifetime BABIP of .263. The fact that he was able to continually put up numbers like this with a consistently unlucky bat is a testament to the hard working, gritty reputation that Carter had.
His numbers are by no means flashy but they are in my opinion, brilliant. I can only imagine how things would be now if the Mets had guys on the team like # 8, who can come in year after year and post the same solid numbers. In an era for the Mets when the only thing one can count on is inconsistency a guy like Carter seems like a relic of the past.