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Thursday, January 16
Updated: March 13, 5:01 PM ET
Carter to be inducted on July 27

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Gary Carter will be the first player to go into baseball's Hall of Fame with a Montreal Expos logo on his hat.

Carter had expressed an interest in having his plaque adorned with a Mets hat -- the team he won the 1986 World Series with and now works for -- but said he wasn't upset at the Hall's announcement Thursday.

I'm so honored and proud to represent the Expos. To me, it's not an issue. I'm glad I didn't have to make that decision. There's a place in my heart for every team I played on. But this is the most noble thing.
Gary Carter

The Hall of Fame consults players about the choice of hat but makes the final call.

"I'm so honored and proud to represent the Expos,'' Carter said at a news conference. "To me, it's not an issue. I'm glad I didn't have to make that decision. There's a place in my heart for every team I played on. But this is the most noble thing.

"It would be nice to have a split for the hat, if there was a position for that.''

Carter will officially be inducted into the Hall with Eddie Murray on July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y. Murray will go in as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.

Carter played most of his career in Montreal, getting 1,427 of his 2,092 career hits and 220 of his 324 career homers with the Expos.

"We want the team that best represents the career and accomplishments of the player,'' Hall president Dale Petroskey said. "To us, the right decision is the Montreal Expos.

"Mets fans should consider Gary Carter a Met. ... Expos fans should consider him an Expo.''

After playing 10 full seasons with Montreal, Carter joined the Mets for the 1985 season and became an even bigger star under the bright lights of New York.

After five seasons with the Mets, Carter finished his career with one year each in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Montreal.

"The fact I played 11 years in Montreal and the fact that the majority of my statistics and accomplishments were achieved there -- it would be wrong, probably, to do it any other way,'' Carter said. "The decision was made. I stand behind it. I'm happy.''

The honor for Montreal comes at a time when the team's future is uncertain. The Expos, owned by the other 29 major league teams, are likely playing their last season in Montreal. They are expected to move next season, possibly to the Washington area or Portland, Ore. The team also will play 22 "home'' games in Puerto Rico next season.

"We were delighted to hear Gary will enter the Hall of Fame as a member of the of the Expos,'' Expos president Tony Tavares said. "His successful career will always be associated with our organization, and we are honored to know the Expos will forever be represented in baseball lore.''

Some of Carter's former Mets teammates attended Thursday's news conference, including manager Davey Johnson, coach Bud Harrelson and pitcher Bobby Ojeda.

"We won a World Series in '86 that will always have a major place in my heart for what we accomplished,'' Carter said.

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