Ed Hearn was crying when he called on Thursday.
Earlier in the afternoon, Hearn had learned that Gary Carter, the Hall of Fame catcher, had died from brain cancer at age 57. Like many former Mets, Hearn took the news hard. Carter, after all, was one of the centerpieces of the 1986 World Series champions—a fist-pumping, home run-hitting ball of energy who carried a long-suffering franchise to new heights.
But unlike most of the former Mets who now mourned Carter's leadership and strength and compassion, Hearn was confronted by an extra wallop of emotion. Seventeen years ago, when Trish Hearn gave birth to her and her husband's only child, Ed suggested the boy be named Cody Carter Hearn—"for someone I admired so very much," Hearn said of the player he backed up in '86. "A gracious and giving person."
Three days ago, on Feb. 14, Cody, a handsome boy with his father's humility and his mother's smile, underwent his fifth chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. That, coupled with the passing of his son's namesake, was too much. "For him to have cancer, and for Gary to die of cancer… it's very hard," Hearn said through tears.