Tag Archives: Gary Carter

Mets’ Opening Day not sold out two days before game


| brennison@queenscourier.com

photo - rotundaw

Two days before the season’s first pitch, scores of tickets remain available for Opening Day at Citi Field.

Ticket sales have declined each year since Citi Field opened in 2009, but Opening Day was usually a no doubt sell out, with each season’s opener drawing more than 41,000 fans.

Perennial cellar dwellers, Pittsburgh and Kansas City, have already sold out their home opener.

Many factors were working in the Mets favor for an Opening Day sell out: nice weather, a ceremony honoring a Mets legend, the return of their ace and facing a bitter rival. But it seems hope has not sprung eternal for fans.

Fans can still purchase tickets for the Thursday, April 5 match-up with the Atlanta Braves in popular ballpark locales such as the Big Apple Reserved, and up to 12 tickets are still available together in the upper deck’s Promenade Reserved.  Four tickets are still available together in sections ranging from $40-215.

The season’s first game will feature a pre-game ceremony honoring the life and career of Gary Carter who passed away in February after a 10-month battle with brain cancer. The contest will also mark the return to the mound for Johan Santana. The Mets’ ace missed all of last season following shoulder surgery.

The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 56.

The last time the Mets did not sell out a home opener was in 1997 when the game took place a day late following a rain out.

To purchase tickets fans can visit www.mets.com/tickets

 

Mets to pay tribute to Carter on opening Day


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

carter_spring_

In a tribute befitting his legacy, thousands of Mets fans will have the privilege to pay their respects to Gary “The Kid” Carter on Opening Day.

The New York Mets will honor Carter’s memory before their first game of the season against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, April 5 at Citi Field. A pre-game ceremony will be held, with Carter’s wife, Sandy, son, D.J., and daughters, Kimmy and Christy and their families on the field for a moment of silence and the ceremonial first pitch.

“We are thrilled that the Carters will be with us,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon. “On Opening Day, Mets fans will have the chance to pay their respects and remember all of [Carter’s] accomplishments.”

Carter passed away on February 16 at the age of 57, following a 10-month battle with brain cancer. The Hall of Fame catcher was initially diagnosed with four brain tumors last May, a mere two weeks after completing his second season as head coach at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Mets players will wear a patch on their right sleeve featuring a black home plate with “KID 8” in white lettering to honor Carter throughout the 2012 season.

“Our family is so honored to be part of the Mets’ Opening Day at Citi Field,” said Sandy Carter. “It will be an incredible experience for us to celebrate Gary’s legacy by having our family throw out the first pitch. The Mets and the fans of New York always had a special place in Gary’s heart and that admiration will live on in our hearts for years to come. Thanks to the Wilpon family and the entire Mets organization for making this possible.”

Russ Gompers has the pros in ‘stitches’


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Steve Mosco

Russ Gompers is a lifelong Mets fan. He’s seen the highs, the lows and the mediocrity in between. He was there when the team reached baseball’s peak in 1969, then again in 1986. He was also there when the Mets closed Shea Stadium with a collapse in the standings in 2008.

But beyond the usual fandom stories that roll off the tongue of many Queens residents wearing orange and blue glasses, Gompers has a special connection with New York’s National League team. One might say that he’s been on the field with them for the last 18 years.

Owner of Stitches in Whitestone, Gompers does all of the official stitching for the New York Mets. And recently, he was given a very special assignment.

After Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter passed away, Mets officials declared that all team jerseys in 2012 would feature a commemorative patch honoring the player known as “The Kid.” And on February 28, Gompers received the delivery — all of the Mets players’ jerseys, along with the Carter patch, a black home plate reading “KID 8.”

“I remember watching Monday Night Football and they announced the Mets got Carter. I said at the time that he was the final piece,” said Gompers. “Everyone should play the game as he played it — as the Kid had fun and played hard all the time.”

Gompers has no problem relating to that nickname himself, as his office resembles the fantasy of every young sports fan: wall-to-wall memorabilia, much of it personalized. A signed picture of Dwight Gooden sits on one end of the cramped space, right across from one of Mike Piazza. And right above a Mets recliner hangs a framed and signed Bobby Valentine jersey featuring three September 11 patches designed by Gompers.

His office above the Stitches warehouse is more than a shrine to his favorite teams — which inexplicably includes the Miami Dolphins — the office is also a tangible memory bank, a place where Gompers recalls standout moments in a sporting life.

It was October 1986. His father had passed away weeks prior and Gompers found himself at game six of the World Series with the Mets about to be eliminated by the Boston Red Sox. With two outs and Gary Carter at the plate, Gompers looked to the heavens and said, “Me and you dad. One more time.” With that, Carter got the hit that kept the inning alive and started one of the most famous comebacks in baseball history.

To find himself now overseeing the placement of these patches on his favorite team’s jersey is almost too much for Gompers to believe.

“It’s really amazing,” he said. “To end up doing work for the teams I grew up rooting for — it’s a dream come true.”

Besides the Mets, Stitches also does work for the New York Islanders, New York Knicks and a host of Little League, high school and college teams. Much of the enjoyment Gompers gets from his job is seeing the faces of young players when they see their jerseys for the first time.

“I tell coaches when they come in — I make them look good, but you have to make them play good,” he said. “But when they’re dressed like pros, it adds a little pep in their step.”

And it adds more recollections — high, low or mediocre — to the sports memory bank of this Bayside man living his dream.

To find out more about Stitches, visit www.stitchesny.com or call Russ Gompers at 718-747-6444.

 

State Orders Peninsula Hospital To Stop Taking Patients


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

State Orders Peninsula Hospital To Stop Taking Patients

Laboratory problems are forcing changes at Peninsula Hospital in Queens. The State Department of Health has ordered the hospital to stop admitting patients and performing surgeries, and plan to transfer its current patients elsewhere. The order comes after Peninsula’s lab permit was suspended for 30 days after an inspection found, “problems that failed to meet the accepted standards of care.” The hospital says it is complying with the state’s orders and is developing a plan to fix the problems as soon as possible. Read More: NY1

 

Man accused of running over girlfriend extradited to NJ, set to be arraigned on murder charges

The deranged New Jersey man accused of running over his girlfriend three times and leaving her to die on a busy street was extradited this morning to New Jersey, where he will be arraigned on murder charges, authorities said. Charles J. Ann, 26, of Fort Lee, allegedly fled the scene Monday evening, but was tracked down at a friend’s house in Flushing, Queens, with a stack of cash and his passport. Authorities believe that he was going to flee to South Korea. Read More: New York Post

Four Sought In Valentine’s Day Home Invasion

Police are searching for four men behind a frightening home invasion in Manhattan last week where two of the robbers climbed through an apartment window. Investigators say it happened around 4 a.m. on February 14 inside an apartment located at 601 West 185th Street near Saint Nicholas Avenue. Authorities say two of the men got in through the window. The other two came through the front door. Read More: NY1

 

‘Subway pusher’ found guilty of assault, not attempted murder

A man accused of pushing a fashion exec onto the subway tracks was found not guilty today by a Manhattan jury of attempted murder, but guilty of first degree assault. That’s not much a break for Jose Rojas, 26, because both charges carry the same penalty, meaning he’ll still be facing between 5 and 25 years behind bars when he’s sentenced on March 16. Rojas had insisted that he did not cause a tall, blonde woman, Ute Linhart, to hit the train intentionally. Read More: New York Post

 

Ex-Mets star Dykstra granted permission to attend Carter’s funeral

Former Mets star Lenny Dykstra will be permitted to attend the funeral of his former teammate Gary Carter. Dykstra, who is under house arrest in Los Angeles on allegations of bankruptcy fraud and embezzlement, filed papers with a judge earlier this week in an attempt to attend Carter’s funeral today, according to TMZ.com. The judge signed off on Dykstra’s request, allowing him to attend Carter’s funeral in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Dykstra and Carter were teammates on the Mets from 1985-89, and both played pivotal roles on the 1986 World Series-winning ball club. Read More: New York Post

DOE Releases Evaluations For Thousands Of Public School Teachers

Parents will soon know if their children’s teachers have been earning passing grades, as the city’s Department of Education released today the performance scores of tens of thousands of teachers later today. A judge ordered the department to do so, despite resistance from the teachers’ union. The teacher data reports were compiled for three years, beginning with the 2007-2008 school year. News organizations, including NY1, plan to publish the reports with the teachers’ names on the Internet this afternoon. Read More: NY1

Former Met Gary Carter succumbs to brain cancer


| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the New York Mets

Forever known as “the Kid,” former Mets catcher Gary Carter died at 4:10 p.m. on February 16 after battling brain cancer. He was 57.

A key cog on the Mets’ 1986 championship team, the man best known for his leadership and clutch hitting was diagnosed with the disease after doctors discovered inoperable tumors on his brain in May 2011. After an MRI revealed new tumors in January 2012, his condition worsened.

The entire Mets organization expressed their condolences to Carter’s family and said that they are grieving along with his fans and former teammates.

“On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary’s family – his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J.,” Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon said in a joint statement. “His nickname ‘the Kid’ captured how Gary approached life. He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto on and off the field. His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes. He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did.”