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Gary Carter RIP

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Gary Carter reminds me of a classic story from adolescence:

When I was about fourteen, I was standing in line with my brother and a couple friends at a local Sav-On in San Pedro, CA. In front of us, paying for his merchandise, was MLB catcher Alan Ashby, a contemporary of Carter’s. Ashby was sort of a hometown legend, as he hailed from San Pedro, attending San Pedro High School. He was probably in town to see family.

The few of us were behind him, starstruck, whispering amongst ourselves, staring, looking totally obvious. I remember catching some eye contact. Ashby was cool about it. I think he was even holding back a laugh.

After he left the store, we took our turn at the register. The cashier was male. Tall, lanky, with a new wave mullet and a skinny tie. His inflection made it clear that he wasn’t exactly into girls.

“Dude!” I told him, expecting him to be sharing the same excitement that comes with interacting with a big league ballplayer. “That was Alan Ashby!”

“Who?” he asked. Blank stare.

Alan Ashby,” I repeated. “Come on! You know, the catcher for the Houston Astros.”

“Sorry guys,” he said, turning to the register. “I’m not into football.”

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