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CLARK’S CROSSING GAZETTE | THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 PG. 9
Every athlete’s dream World Series winning home run earned Joe Carter a lasting place in nation’s heart By TERRY PUGH
When Toronto Blue Jays’ first baseman Joe Carter stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning during Game 6 of the World Series on October 23, 1993, he had a feeling something good was going to happen. “Something great” would be a better description. Carter hit a three-run home run to win the game for Toronto and give the Blue Jays their second World Series title in as many years. “It’s a home run that I’ve been milking for 20 years,” said a giggling Carter. “I’m pretty sure I can milk it for another 20.” Carter was the keynote speaker at the 7th annual Warman Sport and Cultural Village (WSCV) sports celebrity fundraising dinner, held at the Legends Centre in Warman on August 29. Carter was joined on the podium by NHL legend Chris Pronger, Montreal Canadiens’ all-star defenseman P.K. Subban, Boston Bruins’ goaltender Malcolm Subban and former Saskatchewan Roughrider greats Lance Frazier and Wes Cates. Sports broadcaster Drew Remenda returned as emcee for the event. The sold-out dinner collected thousands of dollars toward the construction of a second indoor ice surface at the Legends Centre. Carter had high praise for the organizers of the event, not-
ing the Legends Centre is needed to help young people stay active and involved. “You have a great facility here in Warman,” said Carter. “This gives the kids an opportunity to be successful. And we need to encourage kids to be successful becasue they are the future.” Carter said he knew from the time he was seven-yearsold that he wanted to be a professional baseball player. His father, he recalled, enouraged him while he was growing up, even though the large family was not wealthy. Carter said hitting that home run to win the World Series is a dream of every youngster. The big difference, he said, is that he actually got to live the dream. “The epitome of being a professional athlete is to find yourself in a situation like that,” he said. “Where you have the chance to win it for your teammates, for the city of Toronto and the country of Canada. I remember thinking ‘this is fun’. This is what baseball is all about. This is what I’ve been living for in this game, to be in this situation with the whole country watching.” Carter said time seemed to slow down just before the homerun pitch. “I could see everything so clearly. I could see every stitch on that ball.” Carter added he was proud to have his family in the stands. But, it wasn’t until last year after his father had passed away, that a fan who happened to be
at that game gave Carter a very special photo. “This guy was sitting in the stands near my parents,” said Carter. “He turned around and snapped a picture of my dad, and he had a big smile on his face - like any proud parent would. I had never seen that picture before. It’s something I’ll always treasure.” Carter said while it’s a good thing to strive to be a great athlete, it’s more important to be a great teammate. “You can only go as far as your teammates take you,” he said. “If you are a great teammate you make others around you better. It’s the same in everything you do - whether it’s sports or in the workforce. Bring energy and excitement to whatever you do.” Carter said he is disappointed with the state of professional baseball today because of the prevalence of steroids and other perfomance enhancing drugs. “You can’t take short cuts,” he said. “The ones who take the shortcuts are the ones who will be out of the game real soon. It takes dedication and hard work in everything you do to be successful. You have to put the time in.” The live auction brought in a total of $17,300 in the sale of autographed jerseys. Carter’s Blue Jays’ jersey went for $6,100 while Pronger’s fetched $3,300. P.K. Subban’s jersey sold for $2,700, Wes Cates’ went for $2,400, Lance Frazier’s was auctioned for $2,000, and Malcolm Subban’s sold for $800.
WAYNE SHIELS | CLARK’S CROSSING GAZETTE
(Top) Joe Carter with Jack Wall, who purchased the autographed jersey. (Far left) The Reid Family with an autographed jersey from Wes Cates. (Above, left) brothers Malcolm Subban and PK Subban. (Above, right) Former Saskatchewan Roughriders Lance Frazier and Wes Cates with their 2007 Grey Cup rings. Funds raised during the dinner, including proceeds from live and silent auctions, will go toward a second ice surface at the Legends Centre in Warman.
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