Gary Carter, the Mets' Hall of Fame catcher who spent time as both a player and a manager in the Florida State League, will attend the circuit's inaugural Hall of Fame induction ceremony next month in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Carter, who played for the West Palm Beach Expos in 1972 and was named the FSL Manager of the Year when he led the St. Lucie Mets to the title in 2006, is among 20 inductees for the inaugural class. The league will honor 14 players currently enshrined in Cooperstown.
"He's happy to do it, he's excited and once he found out about it, he said, 'I'll be there,'" said Florida State League president Chuck Murphy of Carter. "So I think he's looking forward to it, and so am I."
Murphy and the league will hold the induction ceremony on Nov. 9, 2009 at the Plaza Resort and Spa at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public, although Murphy said it will not be an autograph event.
"This is going to be a formal night," said Murphy, "Although I'm sure some of the fans will get autographs. But we're going to have a nice video presentation for those not there, and family members will accept the awards for some."
A 19-year Major League veteran with the Expos and Mets, Carter began his career in '72 when he split the summer between the Rookie-level Cocoa Expos and Class A Advanced West Palm Beach. Montreal's third-round pick in the 1972 Draft, Carter hit .320 in 20 FSL games as an 18-year-old before making his Double-A debut a year later. He reached the Majors in 1974 with the Expos.
"He's just a great guy, he's a great personality," Murphy said of Carter. "He was just in the league couple years ago, did a great job here, won a championship. So it's just good to have him come."
Former Major League umpire Harry Wendelstedt Jr. said he will attend, as will current MLB umpire Phil Cuzzi.
The inaugural class also features Cal Ripken Jr, who played for the Miami Orioles in 1979 and currently owns the Charlotte Stone Crabs, and George Steinbrenner, the long-time New York Yankees owner who also runs the organization's Tampa affiliate.
Rod Carew, Rollie Fingers, Johnny Bench, Catfish Hunter, Fergie Jenkins, Al Lopez, Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, Jim Palmer, Nolan Ryan, Joe Tinker and Early Wynn will also be inducted into the Hall.
Murphy said the league has not yet decided upon a location to house the Hall of Fame plaques and memorabilia. He said the league plans to continue holding induction ceremonies annually.
A cocktail hour, at 6 p.m., will be followed by dinner and the ceremony. Dress will be cocktail attire. Tickets for fans wishing to attend the ceremony will be $75.00 per person. Payment can be by check, money order, or cash. Fans may obtain tickets by calling the Florida State League office at (386) 252-7479.