An insightful commenter and a goofy companion for us as we watch Mets games 30+ years after he played in one.
Played himself magnficently on Seinfeld.
In a crouch, down by first base, in the sun, elbows bent just so, anticipating …something.
“And for you kids out there….”
Snorting coke, after games, with teammates, in bars, in Queens.
Charging a bunt that he intercepts on the third-base side of the pitcher’s mound maybe 25 feet from the plate, and getting the guy out at third.
Writer of 3 books, and you’ve probably read all of them.
Occasionally reminded of a short-term teammate who’s slipped his mind and he goes, “Ahhh! The Gaffer!”
That particular kind of New Yorker, who escapes to the Hamptons in the summers and to Florida in the winters and lives otherwise on the Upper East Side.
A statistic that modern analysis has rendered laughably irrelevant, and so we don’t even care about the Game-Winning RBI anymore, except that when we remember it, we also remember who was seemingly always among the National League leaders.
“I don’t like it, Gar.”
A friend to Rusty and to Ed Lynch.
Younger than his brother Gary and got along with him in a way that Gary Carter never got along with his older brother, and that was sad.
Never hit nearly enough home runs or had nearly a long enough a career peak to properly assess his Hall of Fame deservedness while also leaving guys like Fred McGriff on the doorstep and triggering massive cognitive dissonance.
Never for a second unproud to also think of himself as a St. Louis Cardinal no matter how that sits with us.
On the mic and not always on his best behavior, and often it’s funny, and sometimes, it’s definitely not funny.
“Guard the line!”
Hitting a two-strike double against a difficult lefty.
Was not in good shape for a time, and you think, it probably shortened his career.
A cat owner, and we know so much more about Haji than we do his wives.
A unique, fascinating figure as a player and arguably as unique and fascinating as not-a-player.
So unique in fact, that 20-some years of debate is to be settled forever this afternoon, and not a moment too soon.
Or a moment too late.
He’s Keith Hernandez