02/16/12 6:38 PM EST
An interview with Gary Carter from 2006
By Mark Malinowski / MLB.com
Born: April 8, 1954, in Culver City, Calif.
Sports Heroes/Inspirations: "Well, first of all, it would have to be my father. And second of all, I'd have to say Mickey Mantle. When I was involved in 'Punt, Pass & Kick' contests -- which I was one of the very first winners in 1961 as a 7-year-old, I'd have to say back then I was a Los Angeles Rams fan and I liked Roman Gabriel. Basketball -- I've admired and respected the great respect that Michael Jordan had. I followed the Lakers and loved Jerry West and Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain and that group."
Early Baseball Memory: "I was just excited to have a uniform. And I got that when I was 8 years old. And then, obviously, when I signed professionally, to play in my first Major League game, which was in September of '74. And never had to look back. I mean, it was a dream come true. That's what every young kid thinks about when they first put on a uniform -- is to play in the Major League and then, ultimately, play in a World Series. To me, that was the ultimate, winning in '86."
Favorite Meal: "Steak and potatoes."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Pralines and cream."
Nicknames: "The Kid, Kid Carter."
Favorite Movies: "Baseball movies would have to be 'Field Of Dreams' -- that one little segment at the end, when it says, 'Hey Dad, do you want to have a catch?' 'For The Love Of The Game.' I've got a lot, my wife and I are big movie-goers. So I'd have to say I've got a lot of favorites."
Favorite TV Shows: "I like 'Friends,' and I liked 'Joey.'"
Musical Tastes: "I like mellow music. I like some jazz. But I'm not a big hard rock guy."
First Job: "Was a newspaper boy -- Fullerton News Tribune."
First Car: "1963 Ford Fairlane -- ugly beige/brown -- that my father gave me."
Pregame Feeling: "Think to win, nothing more."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Was as a team winning the World Series. Gotta be the 1986 World Series, no question. Personally -- getting inducted into the Hall of Fame."
Most Painful Moment: "[Laughs] Ten knee surgeries. I had my knee replaced. Comes along with the territory."
Funny Baseball Memory: "Just being around the guys always made me laugh. I like the three-man lift deal. It's kind of a tradition that you get a rookie, put him in the middle, wrap your arms and legs around him, then douse him with everything you can get a hold of -- shaving cream, ketchup, mustard, everything. It's kind of like a pie in the face after a guy is successful. (Who did you get?) Oh gosh, every rookie that came through. Anybody that was gullible enough to accept that."
Closest Baseball Friends: "Jerry Royster, Tommy Hutton, Jeff Reardon -- the ones that I've been around."
Funniest Players Encountered: "Oh my goodness, Roger McDowell would have to be No. 1."
Family: Wife, Sandy; children, DJ, Christy, Kimmy; three grandkids.
Career Accomplishments: 11-time All-Star; two-time All-Star Game MVP (1981, 1984); won three Gold Gloves; recipient of Roberto Clemente Award in 1989; world champion with Mets in 1986; .262 career batting average with 324 HRs and 1,225 RBIs.
Mark Malinowski is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.