Having one great memory about any individual sports star isn't a bad way to feel a connection. For millions of Mets fans, their connection to Gary Carter was -- at the very least -- through Game 6. For Expos fans, the team's first Hall of Famer.
For me -- who is a fan of neither team -- my connection to Gary Carter was that he was the starting catcher on a Strat-O-Matic team I played with consistently from 6th through 9th grade. I only had the 1985 edition (1984 season) set, and so that was the version of Carter I had in my lineup: .294/.366/.487, with 27 HR and 106 RBI. He was, as in real life, solid.
When you read through the thoughtful reflections on Carter's life and his contribution to baseball, the stand-out characteristic is his boyish enthusiasm for a game. If that rubbed off on you in your fandom or your life, that's a pretty good legacy.
*Linsanity resumes tonight: No Carmelo Anthony, but maybe a JR Smith sighting? It's the Hornets, so Jeremy Lin could play 20 minutes at half-speed and the Knicks will still win by double-digits.
*Lin added to the NBA All-Star Rookie-Soph game: I believe I predicted this on February 7, three days into Linsanity.
*Tim Wakefield retires from baseball: If my kids want to play baseball, I'm having them become knuckleball specialists, because there will always be a place for them on the youth-league teams.
*CBB: You could do a lot worse than picking Michigan State to make the Final Four. Performances like wins over Wisconsin help.
*What to watch this weekend: Don't miss "The Street Stops Here" on Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.