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Beating the Odds

Gary Carter and Jeremy Lin

Centuries before the hit-and-run, Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

Then came baseball, and then came Gary Carter.

“Nobody loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter,” New York Mets Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver said. “He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played.”

Carter died yesterday of brain cancer, and every tribute makes mention of his enthusiasm. His Hall of Fame plaque calls him “An exuberant on-field general.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

That means if you want to be great at anything, you have two choices: either get excited about what you’re doing, or find something to get excited about.

Like Jeremy Lin is doing with the New York Knicks, Carter brought a sense of fun to the Mets. He arrived with a bigger star than Lin did, and thus carried more pressure. But any weight he felt never pulled his smile into a frown.

In 1986, Carter got the hit that started New York’s improbable rally in Game 6 of the World Series. Had he made an out, the Series would have been over.

Instead, Carter singled to left field, and the rest is history. That night, as on all nights, Carter just wanted to keep playing baseball.

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4 comments for “Gary Carter and Jeremy Lin”

  1. In baseball, you’re taught to keep your emotions on an even keel. Not too high, not too low. But as a fan, I love to watch players who look like they’re enjoying themselves on the field. Gary Carter always struck me that way. Great line about Game 6, how Carter just wanted to keep playing. That’s high praise.

    Posted by Frank Verde | February 17, 2012, 9:28 pm
  2. Carter was a breath of fresh air in a clubhouse that could be difficult at times.

    Posted by Mike Tully | February 18, 2012, 3:55 am
  3. Like the short piece. Was at Game 6. John had gotten me tickets when he worked for the AP.Like the quotes about liking what you do or what’s the point.

    Posted by Jill Nelson | February 18, 2012, 5:05 pm
  4. Hi!
    So great to hear from you! Are you on Facebook so we can catch up?

    Posted by Coach Tully | February 18, 2012, 7:52 pm

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