Ron Darling on Gary ‘The Kid’ Carter, brain tumor awareness and 1986


By Cathy Finkler

Former New York Mets pitcher and current SNY, TBS baseball broadcaster Ron Darling dropped by Morning Joe Thursday to talk about his friend Gary “The Kid” Carter who passed away from Glioblastoma, a brain tumor, in February – leaving an emotional hole in the club’s organization.

Carter – who was on the 1986 Mets championship team with Darling – served as a mentor to the pitcher. Darling said, “It’s hard to talk about him in the past” and “he’s going to live on.” Darling has recently joined forces with neuro-oncologist Dr. Andrew Lassman for the Moments that Matter initiative which raises awareness about the aggressive tumor.

Darling told the Morning Joe panel that “Moments that Matter” pushes “people that have some symptoms to go see a doctor” who are then “going to push them towards a support network that will help them through when they get a difficult diagnosis.” Darling couldn’t stress the importance of a support system enough saying Carter “had an amazing family and not all people are blessed with that.”

Asked to reflect on Carter as both a friend and teammate, Darling said, “There was a reason he was nicknamed ‘The Kid.’ He was just one of those guys and I think all of us when we watch professional athletes  – one of the things that really makes you mad is when you see guys playing a sport and they’re not enjoying it. They have that scowl. He never did – he always had that big smile. He loved playing.”

Darling also a took a moment to reflect on the Mets championship win – much to Mike Barnicle’s dismay.  In 1986, the Mets beat the Boston Red Sox in game seven. The win crushed team’s dreams of winning their first championship since 1918 and made Sox first baseman Bill Buckner one of the most beloved players of the Mets organization.

Ron Darling on Gary 'The Kid' Carter, brain tumor awareness and 1986