I was only 5 years old but I immediately understood how important number 8 was. Not only important, number 8 further represented something that I could identify with; my first "favorite" baseball player. In 1986, and being 5 years old, my knowledge associated with the sport of Baseball was still in its primitive stages.
However, there was this "kid" who just so happened to wear the number 8, who to me, made the game of Baseball look very easy and also very fun to play. This "kid" was my favorite player. This "kid" made me want to wear the number 8 on the back of my shirt. This "kid" made me want to be a catcher. And above all, this "kid" made me want to be a New York Mets fan.
I could not escape him. He was everywhere. In the afternoon, I would see him out in the sunshine, "sitting" in the middle of this big field, catching balls which were being thrown at him very fast by a guy standing atop a small hill. That "sitting" was called "catching". In the evening, any time after 7:40 PM I would see him swinging at balls, driving them to left field with regularity. Again, he was everywhere and it was rare that I did not see him every day.
Why The Mets Number 8 Will Always Be My Number 1 - Thomas Saladino / NJ.com Blogger
To me, the "kid" is all of that and more. However, he represents something bigger than the kid's game that he played. The "kid" represents my bond to the great game of baseball. Most baseball fans have their favorite player, their "number 8". Gary Carter will forever be mine.
The Meck Report / Blog - June 1, 2011 - 8:29a