Do you ever baseball-reference yourself?
I know you Google yourself weekly (who doesn’t?), but have you ever baseball-referenced yourself? Unfortunately, there has never been a major leaguer with my first and last name. But there have been a handful of Carters. Here is a look at a few of them:
Two current players by the name of Carter were in the bigs in 2013; one of them was a first-name Carter: Carter Capps. Capps is a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners and appeared in 53 contests during the 2013 season. The other is first baseman/outfielder/designated hitter Chris Carter of the Houston Astros. He went deep twenty-nine times, which is nothing to sneeze at in this post-steroid era (only 13 players hit 30 or more home runs in 2013). His power surge would be even more impressive if he hadn’t led the league in strikeouts.
Historically, there have been three Carters who have appeared in All-Star games. The most recent is Lance Carter, a pitcher who was curiously Tampa Bay’s representative at the 2003 game. Shall we move on?
Joe Carter is best remembered for his walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. An epic moment to be sure. 1993 was also Carter’s third of five All-Star appearances, all as a member of the Blue Jays. Truth be told, he should have been an All-Star long before then. From 1986-1989, Carter hit 123 home runs and drove in 430, but not once was he asked to play with the best while he was in Cleveland. In 1986, he had a 5.7 WAR, the highest of his career, and finished in the top ten for MVP voting. But no one called him mid-season to invite him to Houston. Instead, Brook Jacoby and Ken Schrom were the Indians reps. Why Dick Howser thought he needed four third baseman (Wade Boggs, George Brett, and Jim Presley were also on the roster) is beyond me. Even Schrom’s inclusion was suspect; while he had a 10-2 record, his ERA was 4.17. Before the popularity of more savvy stats (which I myself am still not completely sold on), but that ERA is a red flag, is it not?
The third of the Carter All-Stars is also a Hall of Famer. Gary Carter, best known as a catcher for the Expos and Mets, appeared on 12 All-Star rosters, 11 of those consecutive (1979-1988). Four times he finished in the top ten for MVP, five times won the Silver Slugger, three times the Gold Glove. He was one of the most popular players in the game. Sadly, the world lost Gary Carter in 2012 to brain cancer at the very young age of 57. It took Hall of Fame voters six times to get it right, but Carter was finally enshrined is 2003 after receiving more than the requisite 75%. One of the greatest catchers in Major League Baseball history, right behind Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra.
So far as I know, I am not related by blood to any of these fine ballplayers. But I am happy to share my last name with them. Who shares your name in the bigs?