Padres Birthday Spotlight: Joe Carter

nicholaslee
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This weekend, Joe Carter turned 55.

He was born in Oklahoma City and went to Wichita State before being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1981.

Carter is mainly known for his heroics during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays when they won back to back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. He is most famous for his walk-off championship clinching home run in the ninth inning against the Phillies in 1993.

It is sometimes forgotten that he played for the San Diego Padres in 1990 and had a very successful season. In fact, that season set him up for five All-Star selections in the next six years after leaving San Diego.

In 1990, he played all 162 games for the Padres. He led the team in RBIs with 115 and also hit 24 home runs, second only to Jack Clark. His .232 batting average might have been the only thing that kept him from being an All-Star that year.

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His career really took off after he left San Diego for the Blue Jays. In seven seasons north of the border, he hit 203 home runs with 1,051 hits and two World Series championships.

His best season overall was likely 1991. During his earlier years, Carter stole 20+ bases every year. In 1991, he had a 20/20 season when he stole 20 bases and hit 33 home runs while hitting .273 with 108 RBI.

His postseason numbers are phenomenal. In 3 straight years from 1991-1993, he played in 29 games with 6 home runs and 20 RBI. Four of those six postseason home runs came in the World Series.

After seven seasons in Toronto he played his last season in 1998 with two teams, the Baltimore Orioles and the San Fransisco Giants.

His career numbers are impressive. He finished with 396 home runs with 2,184 hits. During his career, he went to five All-Star games, won two Silver Slugger Awards, and played every single game for three straight years from 1989-1991.

Carter was known for his power. He only hit above .275 once in his career and had a career average of .259. In 2004, he was a “one-and-done” candidate for the Hall of Fame, only getting 3.8% of the vote and falling off the ballot. He won’t make his home in Cooperstown any time soon, but his home run against Mitch Williams in the bottom of the ninth in Game six of the 1993 World Series will remain a legendary moment in baseball history.

The Blue Jays were down 6-5 to start the ninth inning. Future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson led off with a walk, followed by another future Hall of Famer, Paul Molitor, who singled to bring Carter up to the plate. On a 2-2 count, Carter launched a ball over the left field wall to clinch the repeat championship for the Blue Jays.

He might not be in the Hall of Fame, but Joe Carter is immortalized forever for that one glorious swing.

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