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02/16/12 11:39 PM EST

Baseball remembers Carter's legacy

Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter, who succumbed to brain cancer Thursday at the age of 57, earned plenty of respect from teammates and coaches during his 19 seasons in the big leagues.

The 11-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove recipient put together his best seasons in Montreal and New York. He helped lead the Mets to a World Series title in 1986.

Carter's passing sparked emotional reaction from former and current players, coaches and others associated with the sport, all of whom spoke highly of the catcher's passion on the field and compassion off of it.

• "Gary Carter played for me with so much respect and enthusiasm for the game he loved. He was a Hall of Famer as a player and as a man. On behalf of the entire Dodger organization, we love him and will miss him."
-- Dodgers special advisor to the chairman Tommy Lasorda, who managed Carter in 1991

• "Driven by a remarkable enthusiasm for the game, Gary Carter became one of the elite catchers of all time. 'The Kid' was an 11-time All-Star and a durable, consistent slugger for the Montreal Expos and the New York Mets, and he ranks among the most beloved players in the history of both of those franchises. Like all baseball fans, I will always remember his leadership for the '86 Mets and his pivotal role in one of the greatest World Series ever played."
-- MLB Commissioner Bud Selig

• "Learning of Gary's passing feels as if I just lost a family member. Gary and I grew up together in the game, and during our time with the Expos, we were as close as brothers, if not closer. Gary was a champion. He was a 'gamer' in every sense of the word -- on the field and in life. He made everyone around him better, and he made me a better pitcher. His contributions to the game, both in Montreal and New York, are legendary and will likely never be duplicated."
-- Steve Rogers, former teammate and current MLB Players Association special assistant

• "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."
-- Mets Chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon, club president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon

• "Today, the world of baseball lost a Hall of Famer, and I have lost a treasured friend. Anyone lucky enough to have been part of Gary Carter's world will agree ... nobody loved life in a bigger way than Gary. He seized every opportunity to savor what mattered most to him: his close-knit, loving family; meaningful, enduring friendships; an unbridled passion for baseball; and the fulfillment he felt from making a difference in his community. Gary's brave battle has ended, but his from-the-gut laughter will be heard and his vitality and spirit will be felt forever. I loved him very much, and I know he is finally at peace."
-- Davey Johnson, Mets manager from 1984-90, now manager of the Nationals

• "It's a sad day for baseball fans. It's a terrible tragedy that the tumors struck him at a very young age. He put up a valiant battle, as we all figured he would. He truly is in a better place now; all the suffering is over with, and I know the family is at peace with what has happened. ... He was full of life, on the field and off the field. He was totally engaged with teammates, fans, media, family. Gary was an exciting guy to be around, because there was never a dull moment with 'The Kid.'"
-- Marlins radio voice Dave Van Horne, the longtime voice of the Expos

• "I relied on Gary for everything when I was on the mound, including location, what pitch to throw and when. Even when I didn't have my best stuff, he found a way to get me through the game. He was just a warrior on the field."
-- Former Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden

• "He was like a big brother to me. I always went to him for advice. No matter what time of day it was, he always had time for you."
-- Former Mets infielder Wally Backman

• "When you think of the great baseball field generals, you think Gary Carter. He ran the game from behind the plate with strong leadership and passion. The Kid's contribution to our national pastime is big, but his heart was even bigger. We'll always remember his caring way, ever-present smile and strong devotion to family, community and the Baseball Hall of Fame."
-- Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson

• "No one loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. No one enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played. He gave you 110 percent and played the most grueling position on the field and that was something special."
-- Former Mets pitcher Tom Seaver

• "The one thing I remember about Gary was his smile. He loved life and loved to play the game of baseball."
-- Former Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson

• "Gary was a take-charge type of player who was respected by those who played against him as well as his teammates. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as they grieve over this tremendous loss."
-- Rangers club president and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan

• "The one thing Gary stressed to us was team. He said individual goals were meaningless. He said the name on the front of the uniform was more important than the name on the back. That's what I'll take from my two years with him."
--Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese

"He showed me, through simple friendship, what self confidence, loving your job and caring about people could mean. Nothing he did in baseball was for show, but his life and his passion for baseball were a show. Carter was one of my main influences and why I will always stay near the game."
-- Richard Griffin, former head of PR for the Expos, now a columnist for the Toronto Star

Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.