Remembering Mets History (1988) Gary Carter Finally Hits 300th Career HR

In 1988 Gary Carter was 34 years old, he was a 15 veteran catcher, who's body had been beaten up behind the plate & he was starting to show age. Carter's numbers were starting to fall off & the next season would be his last in New York. He was still an All Star catcher & was a popular player.

On May 16th, Carter hit his 299th career HR, a two run shot, in a game where he drove in four runs, leading the Mets to a 7-4 win. At that time he was batting .284. The Mets were in first place, with a two game lead over the Pirates.

The milestone #300 HR, loomed over Carter as he went into a HR drought, not hitting another HR
for 65 games, 225 at bats & just five days shy of three months since his  last longball. By now his average had fallen to .251. The Mets were in first place, with a five game lead over the Pirates.

Thursday August 11th: Three nights earlier, the Mets had lost to the Cubs, in the first night game ever played at Wrigley Field. Wrigley was the last ballpark to install lights & play just home- day games. In this matinee at Wrigley Field, Davey Johnson's Mets visited Don Zimmer's, fourth place Chicago Cubs. Dwight Gooden went up against Al Nipper, in front of 31,942 in the Friendly Confines.

In the top of the 2nd inning, Gary Carter led off the inning with a solo HR, reaching his 300th career HR milestone. He was greeted by Howard Johnson at the plate & walked into the dugout with a smile & a sigh of relief after the long drought.

The Cubs took the lead off Gooden in the bottom of the inning, with triples from Andre Dawson & Damon Berryhill, as well as a single from Rafael Palmeiro.

In the top of the 3rd, Wally Backman & Keith Hernandez singled. Darryl Strawberry reached on a Ryne Sandberg error, scoring Backman to tie it up. Kevin McReynolds then singled to left, putting New York ahead 3-2.

In the bottom of the 3rd, the Cubs collected five hits, a walk & a passed ball of Gooden to account for four runs, putting them ahead 6-3. In the 7th Lenny Dykstra brought the Mets a bit closer with a solo HR.

In the top of the 9th, Cubs reliever Frank DiPino gave up lead off singles to Kevin Elster &
Mookie Wilson. Pat Perry was brought in relief & Lenny Dykstra singled off him to make it 6-5.  Mookie stole third & Keith Hernandez was hit by a pitch.

Veteran Rich "Goose" Gossage, was brought in to pitch to Kevin McReynolds. McReynolds, blasted a grand slam off the Goose, sealing the Mets 9-6 victory, as Randy Meyers & Roger McDowell closed it out.

Gary Carter would go on to hit 324 career HRs, 89 of them as a Met. The Mets went on to win the NL East but lose the NLCS to the eventual World Champion Dodgers.


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