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Sports Then and Now



Gary Carter Helped Make the Montreal Expos Into a Winner 11

Posted on February 18, 2012 by Dean Hybl
Gary Carter spent the first 11 years of his career with the Montreal Expos.

Gary Carter spent the first 11 years of his career with the Montreal Expos.

It was sad news out of the baseball world this week with the passing of Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter at the age of 57 following a battle with cancer. While many best identify Carter with helping the New York Mets win the 1986 World Series, it was during his initial 11 years as a member of the Montreal Expos that Carter became one of the elite catchers of his era.

Selected by the Expos in the third round of the 1972 amateur draft, it took Carter just two years before he made his Major League debut as a September call-up in 1974.

Carter hit .407 with a home run and six RBI during nine games in 1974 and the next season finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting and made his first All-Star appearance while hitting .270 with 17 home runs and 68 RBI. Though he struggled the next year with a .219 average, by 1977 it was obvious that he would be one of the key lynch-pins of future success for the Expos.

In 1978 Carter blasted 31 home runs and drove home 84 runs while hitting .284. Two years later, Carter began a string of 10 straight All-Star appearances as the Expos posted the first winning season in team history while winning what still remains a franchise record 95 games. Unfortunately, in an era before the wild card, the Expos were unable to earn a postseason bid as they finished two games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Carter finished second in the National League MVP race in 1980 as he hit 29 home runs with 101 RBI. The Expos nearly won the NL East, but dropped two of three games to the Philadelphia Phillies on the final weekend of the season. Read the rest of this entry →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

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