When one travels the halls of Cooperstown, they will only see two plaques that honor players from the Montreal Expos, Gary Carter and Andre Dawson. This was at a time when the Hall of Fame made the choice for which cap a player or manager goes into the Hall upon induction. If that was still the case, there would be no doubt that Vladimir Guerrero would be the third to be inducted with an Expos cap but nobody knows what he will wear.
Carter and Dawson both came up with the Expos and wear the Expo cap in the Hall but had they had their way, it would have been with the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs, respectively. Carter was in the first year of a seven-year deal, which would have likely led to his staying with the Expos for his entire career, but was traded to the New York Mets. Dawson’s contract expired so he became a free agent and joined the Chicago Cubs for a massive paycut with incentives. It led to a few years playing at the Friendly Confines before finishing up a Hall of Fame career with the Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins, where he serves as a special assistant.
In his memoir, Still a Kid at Heart: My Life in Baseball and Beyond, Carter writes of the ups and downs of his life in baseball. He writes extensively of how catchers make the best managers in the game and how, after his playing career ended, he wanted to be a big league manager.
Carter reflects on how he came the first player at Shea Stadium asked to make a curtain call and the 1986 World Series, including a Game 6 that is known for a ball going through Bill Buckner‘s legs. Having an itch to do something as he wasn’t managing in baseball, Carter started a foundation that raised money for leukemia. There was also his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2003, a day that he shared with his one-year Los Angeles Dodgers teammate, Eddie Murray. For a player that had similar stats to Carlton Fisk, Carter had to wait a few more years before finally getting the call.
As with any baseball memoir, Carter shares his thoughts on the future of the players in the game and the important people that he met in his lifetime. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without tackling the steroid era.
Dawson penned his book, If You Love This Game…: An MVP’s Life in Baseball, in 2012 after Carter’s passing.
In his first year with the Cubs, the outfielder won the NL MVP award–one accomplishment on his way into the Hall of Fame in 2010 after spending nine years on the ballot. Dawson has spent all but maybe a few seasons of his life working in baseball as a player or special assistant. Dawson spends so many pages writing about his life with the Cubs because that’s the team he associated with the most as a player. Playing on the AstroTurf in Montreal was not the best thing for his knees, which had chronic pain dating back to high school, so Dawson felt at home on the grass in Wrigley.
Dawson shares what it is likely to constantly play through pain at such a high level. Of course, having been a teammate of Sammy Sosa, briefly, he shares his thoughts on the steroid era of baseball.