After a nearly nine-month battle with brain cancer, Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball head coach Gary Carter passed away on Thursday at 4:10 p.m.
Nicknamed “The Kid” for his infectious smile and enthusiasm, Carter spent the last two plus seasons coaching baseball for the NCAA Division II Sailfish following a Hall-of-Fame playing career in Major League Baseball. He was 57.
Diagnosed with four small brain tumors in May 2011, Carter had been receiving intense treatments of chemotherapy and other medical treatments as his type of cancer was deemed inoperable.
Carter leaves behind an incredible legacy in many circles for his athletic abilities, charitable endeavors and unyielding faith.
His most recent career path led him to join his daughter and son-in-law, Kimmy and Kyle Bloemers, at Palm Beach Atlantic University where Kimmy serves the University as its head softball coach and Kyle is an assistant athletic director.
Inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 following a brilliant 19-year playing career, Carter is known as one of the greatest catchers ever to play. Spending a majority of his career playing for the Montreal Expos and New York Mets, Carter helped lead the Mets to their 1986 World Series Championship as he started a two-out rally in Game Six to help propel the Mets to an improbable victory in seven games.
Following his playing career Carter went into coaching and managing within the minor league ranks and independent baseball before settling in as the Sailfish head coach in October 2009.
Carter’s impact on Palm Beach County will forever be remembered as he has made it his permanent home since 1982.
The founder of the Gary Carter Foundation, Carter was instrumental in raising funds and awareness for such causes as juvenile diabetes, children with autism and in providing education resources to local schools.
Gary is survived by his wife, Sandy, to whom he was married for 37 years. The couple has three children: Christy Kearce, Kimmy Bloemers and D.J. Carter. They also have three grandchildren in C.J. Kearce, Brady Kearce and Alyse Bloemers.
The Carter family has scheduled a memorial service at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at Christ Fellowship in Palm Beach Gardens. The University also will hold a memorial service. Details will be announced at a later date.
Memorial gifts in honor of Carter will benefit PBA Baseball. Please make checks payable to: Palm Beach Atlantic University, memo line — Gary Carter Fund. Gifts should be mailed to: Palm Beach Atlantic University, Gary Carter Fund, P.O. Box 24708, West Palm Beach, FL 33416.
All gifts will be acknowledged and the Carter family will be notified. Gifts also can also be made to the Gary Carter Foundation.