A stretch of road in front of the stadium where he began his Hall of Fame career has been renamed in honour of former Montreal Expos catcher Gary Carter.
Signs indicating Rue Gary-Carter were already in place on Tuesday as municipal officials announced the renaming of Faillon Street West after the most popular player in the history of the defunct National League baseball club.
“It was here at Jarry Park that the player affectionately known as Kid began his major league career,” said Laurent Blanchard, chairman of the city’s executive committee, told a small gathering of officials and fans, some wearing caps and shorts with the Expos’ red, white and blue logo.
“He was an idol who touched the heart of Montrealers and inspired many young athletes.”
A larger celebration is planned for June 15 when Ahuntsic baseball park in the city’s north end will be named for Carter, who died on Feb. 16, 2012 of brain cancer at 57.
Carter’s wife, Sandy, and other family members were not able to attend the street renaming because they only learned of it this week, but they are expected to be at the ball park ceremony.
The western section of Faillon street runs in front of the stadium the Expos called home for the first eight years of their existence from 1969 to 1976, before moving to the domed Olympic Stadium.
Jarry Park stadium has since been converted into Uniprix Stadium, a tennis facility that forms part of the Jarry national tennis training centre.
Carter made his Expos debut there in September, 1974.
He grew into perhaps the best catcher of his generation. The 11-time all-star played in Montreal until 1984, then played for the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers before returning to Montreal to end his playing career in 1992.
He was always a fan favourite for his easy smile, outgoing personality and the effort he put into learning some French.
The eastern part of the street will retain the name Faillon.
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