The 100 Greatest in 100 Days: #98 Gary Carter

Coming in at #98 on the list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All-Time is Hall of Fame Catcher Gary Carter. Carter was an 11-time All-Star who starred for the Montreal Expos and New York Mets over a 19-year career. Nicknamed “The Kid,” Carter helped lead the ’86 Mets to 108 wins—tied for the 3rd highest total since 1969—and a World Series Championship. Carter is 2nd All-Time in WAR among catchers behind only the great Johnny Bench. No catcher in MLB history has finished in the top-10 in WAR more than Carter (8). Among catchers, Carter is in the top ten all-time in runs, hits, home runs, and RBIs. He finished in the top-6 of the MVP voting four times including a 2nd place finish for Montreal in 1980 and a 3rd place finish for the Mets in 1986.

While Carter is unquestionably one of the greatest offensive catchers in MLB history, he was an even better defensive catcher. He led the NL in games played among catchers six times, putouts among catchers eight times, assists among catchers five times, double plays turned as a catcher five times, and thrown out baserunners three times. It is that last fact that summons the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Graphic courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

Yep, that’s Gary Carter with 23 dapper fellas born in the 1800s. Carter threw out 810 stolen base attempts during his career which is by far the highest total for a catcher since the dead-ball era.  Few catchers in the history of the game have matched Carter’s offensive/defensive mix, durability, and longevity.

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