The Mets should retire Gary Carter’s #8

According to Mets By The Numbers, no Met has worn #8 since the end of 2002.

So, in effect, #8 is retired.

It cannot be an accident that #8 sits unused, like 24 and like 31.

Someone is choosing not to issue the number.

So retire it.

Have Gary Carter out to Citi Field to retire #8.  Man, that will be one hell of an emotional day for everyone involved.  I know I wouldn’t be able to get through it without getting misty eyed.

He’s in the Mets Hall of Fame.  He is in Cooperstown.  He won a ring.  He was the co-captain.  Nobody wears the number anyway.

We can argue a different day about 17, 31, 16, 18, 36 or whatever other number you want to argue about.

This is about Gary Carter.  Fan favorite.  Team captain.  Champion.  Hall of Famer.  The first person you think of when you think of 8.

This is a family.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell someone you love him.  Especially when nobody is using the number anyway.

UPDATE: The Mets ran some video of Gary at Sunday’s game which you can see here thanks to Peter

37 Replies to “The Mets should retire Gary Carter’s #8”

  1. Gary Carter has always been my favorite Mets player. I hope that the team will choose to give him this honor and let all of his fans have that public moment to express our appreciation.

  2. Retire it for both him and Yogi and have a day for both of them and give the fans something to be happy about during this dismal year. I’d love to see “Kid” enjoy this while his eyes are wide open. Talk about a guy who made baseball fun. He’s a HOF’er who has a ring here in NY, so why not ? Why isn’t there a scheduled 25th anniversary celebration for the ’86 team ? With Carter’s health so questionable now is the time. 25 years is a very big milestone. Also retire 17, because Mex turned this franchise around the day he walked in the door in ’83.

  3. both rickey and the infamous kelvin torve (for a week or so in i think ’90 or ’91 wore 24…and it’s not like it should be retired for any of the players, including the say hey kid, who wore it…that’s a number i have no problem with a reissuance of…

    and if you’re not gonna retire, 16, 17 & 18, as well as 31…then you can’t retire 8…sorry, but either they all go or none of them do

  4. 8 is a HOF’er and 31 will be one. The other 3 sadly didn’t make it due to injury and or substance abuse. I would have loved to have seen them play longer and contribute more, but Doc and Daryl were victims of their demos and flamed out way too fast. If you watched Mex day in and day out you thought of him as a HOF caliber 1B. If he was a shortstop with all those gold gloves (refer to O.Smith) he would be shining up his Cooperstown plaque years ago. Sadly there is no respect for a man who made playing 1st into an art form.

    1. fair points, but should ONLY HOFers have their #s retired by the mets? and if so, there are a few who played for the mets (for example, the ryan express) who certainly didn’t have HOF careers WITH the mets — should we retire those #s?

      i’ll agree that doc, darryl & mex’ FULL careers fell short of the HOF, but they did as much or more for those mid 80s teams (including the 86 juggernaut) as did kid…and piazza had a HOF career, but half of it wasn’t with the mets

      i agree with retiring 31, but i still say 8, 16, 17 & 18 need to go in as well…all or none

      just a quick question — were you of the generation who grew up with the 70’s & 80’s mets (like myself — i’m 45) or were you of the piazza/olerud/franco/leiter crew? just curious, not trying to start an argument

      i have no memory of the miracle mets (sadly, i was 3 in ’69) but i vividly remember the 73 crew, and that 86 team (and parts of 85-88) was nothing short of invincible…and you owe that, in large part, to 8, 16, 17 & 18…not entirely, but certainly to that whole crew…i feel those numbers should be on the wall with gil, casey, franchise & jackie

  5. Few things are ever cut and dried with the Mets…I would go ahead and retire 8 for Kid. I would not retire it for Yogi, but I would put Yogi in the Mets Hall of Fame. Piazza’s 31 will be retired. I never thought 24 should be retired for Mays…and Rickey wore it, but that does not seem to matter. If you retire 8, you must retire 17. I would not retire 16 or 18…it would send the wrong message.

    1. Steve,
      Your points are spot on. Quick question. If the Mets pull out the 73 series would you retire Yogi’s as well ? Yogi did a lot for the Met franchise during the years the Yanks “exciled” him. By coming over in 65 to coach and actually play a few games, he helped give the fledgling franchise some legitimacy. He was one of Gil’s key lieutenants during the ’69 season too.

      1. Great question…especially in light of the fact that many people, including players, blame Yogi’s decision to use Seaver on short rest in game 6 (and skip the hot George Stone), with blowing the series. Had he won, subsequent events may have changed…perhaps Yogi would have managed longer and had more success.

        But your question opens another can of worms…I would not retire 8 for Yogi if he had just won in 1973…if you do, you certainly must consider retiring 5 for Davey!…and if Bobby V pulled out the subway series, you would need to retire 2 as well.

        Let’s face facts…we have won 2 championships in 50 seasons, unless another miracle occurs. We should not have so many retired numbers.

        1. hey steve D.i thought iwas the only one who thought george stone should have started game 6 and give seaver a extra days rest.when the mets flew to oakland for the last 2 games ,seaver was quoted as saying”there will be no game 7-i have a tee off time for sunday morning”. the mets did lose in 7 close games,yogi should be in the metsHOF none the less.

  6. Can anyone name the only person in the Mets Hall of Fame as a player who played in neither 1969 nor 1986?

      1. oh wait — misunderstood the question — you’re asking who went in the mets HOF as a mets player…not who played for the mets but didn’t play in 69 or 86…right?

      2. I guess technically correct, but Gil (149 AB as a Met) is in for being manager.

  7. @Phil – I’m the EXACT same age as you. My first Met game was the home opener vs the Expos in 1969. My memories of that game come mostly from my family talking about it so much. My first “real” memory was crying when Willie hit that HR in his first game w/the Mets. The rest of them prior to that are from hearing the stories and all.

    Being in the HOF is not the only criteria for a Met to have his number retired. In Ryan’s case I wouldn’t retire his #30, since he had flashes of brilliance here, but no one could have predicted his HOF status.

    Piazza is a no-brainer, because his career w/the Mets was HOF caliber and he practically carried those late 90’s early 00’s teams on his shoulders, while being the face of the franchise and having constant pressure.

    My point on Carter is this. If they are going to retire it, then do it NOW…Don’t wait until he is gone. If they don’t do it while his eyes are open, then they should NEVER do it. Personally I would retire Mex’s number 1st, because he came when the stunk and he changed that losing culture and made it unacceptable + for those who watched him day in and day out we saw that he was a HOF’er.

    Maybe I’m just still angry w/Doc and Daryl for squandering their talents and sinking what should have been a Met dynasty. I don’t know, but I just don’t feel like they should have their numbers retired. If the Yankees didn’t retire Reggie’s number (5 seasons of service) I wouldn’t have brought up Carter for the Mets.

  8. For Piazza, right or wrong I suspect him of steroids involvement.

    I don’t see him as being the complete ballplayer Carter was, or as much of a team leader. The 1986 Mets were a great team. You had two young raw talents, Strawberry and Gooden. And you had two grizzled, wily veterans Carter and Hernandez. To me, those were the lynchpins of the team, the people without whom the championship is out of reach. I’d retire all four numbers.

    With Gary sick, I wouldn’t wait around. We need a Gary Carter day. For the Mets this would be their Lou Gehrig moment. Gary, a microphone, and a packed house. Gary’s not a shrinking violet; I think he’ll embrace the moment and address the crowd.

    As for #8, how can anyone wear Gary Carter’s number after this, on the Mets? It’s pure sacrilege.

  9. A team 50 years old and only one player number retired. Except for Seaver has any of the “great Mets” been homegrown or spent the majority of their years with the Mets (Straw and Doc were traded too). That’s the problem in the sense that some don’t believe in retiring a number for someone here five or six years regardless of championship accomplishments.

    We’re not the Yankees or other teams when it comes to history and HOF players, yet I think we must maintain our own history, and cling to it, at least for our kids sake.

    Number 8 and number 17 should go in, now. I agree, if the numbers aren’t being issued then they are “retired”. Lets make it official.

  10. I’m still shocked that they are not having a 25th anniv day @ Citifield. You would think they would want to celebrate something during this dismal season

  11. Retire 8 and 17. Do it, and do it this year.

    Perfect timing with this being the 25th anniversary of the 86 championship. What better way to celebrate than to honor the two great veterans to bring the Mets their second championship? The inclusion of Mex will help to keep it from being solely a sombre tribute to the Kid.

    For those that argue that they don’t want to overdue the retiring of numbers like the Yanks do, well I agree. But I don’t think that three player’s numbers (8, 17, 41) in fifty years is too much.

  12. no they shouldn’t.
    he’s not gone yet, and if they retire number 8 for Gary, then what about Keith”s number, strawberry, and Doc?
    enough of the overwrought sentiment, please.

  13. Let’s go Fred and Jeff… dedicated a whole rotunda to a Brooklyn Dodger…..let’s start to honor some Mets…and start with 8 and 17!

  14. The Mets WILL retire 31; they’re just waiting for Piazza to be inducted.

    No, he didn’t do steroids. He broke down as most catchers do.

    1. i don’t think piazza did roids…but i didn’t think i-rod did either


      i have no problem retiring #8, but you cannot just retire #8 — carter’s health shouldn’t have anything to do with it; either 8, 16, 17 & 18 (or at least 8 & 17, but i vote for all 4) plus 31 go in or no one does

      if the mets want to retire carter’s number, they should retire his #; the fact that he has brain cancer should not influence their decision

  15. when you start to talk about retirement of numbers of the mets players,it is out of sentiment.retire straw,gooden,keith? no. why ?they did not play for the team long enough.i have been a mets fan from day one. i would love to see cleon jones number retired. we have 37,14 and 41 retired. moving forward,gary should have his number retired considering his health situation,it would be a great tribute to him. retire #24? yes. willie mays,even with only 2 years as a met(he told joan payson he was going to retire after the trade was made)was a iconic new york base ball player and ending it in new york was the final chapter of a great carrer.
    willie mays is 80 years old.will he have to fall ill or pass away to have the number retired? let him enjoy the tribute while he can.
    maybe the mets organazation does not want to retire numbers like they were giving away tee shirts. carter and mays. they should retire them for the obvious reason.

  16. Though it is a shame that Carter has this terrible disease, it does not warrant the retiring of his number. He only played for the franchise for 5 years. If anything his number as an Expo (Washington) should be retired. That is the franchise he complied his best years with. The same can be said about Reggie Jackson having his number retired as a Yankee. His Stats did not even warrant his induction to the Hall of Fame, his self promotion got him there. Either way I hope he fights this disease and wins.

    1. Nick – so on Reggie. The Yankees have created their own tradition and story. Ask any Yankees fan under 25 and they’lll tell you how great Reggie is. He’s Mr. Yankee. Everyone knows Reggie. Who doesn’t love Reggie? Great guy! George too!

      1. Reggie does not deserve his number retired by the Yankees. He was only there 5 years, but most of his accomplishments where done wearing an A’s uniform. Carter’s most notable accomplishments were done wearing a Expo Uniform. Granted he helped That “Great Met Dynasty” win ONE Pennant, but he does not warrant a retired number as Jackson does not with the Yanks, and he helped win two pennants and was a WS MVP in 77. Neither deserves a retired number from either New York Team. As for George, a great owner, who any Met Fan would love to have given what the Wilpon’s have done to that pity-full Franchise.

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