Toronto Blue Jays legend Joe Carter tells Kawhi: L.A. won't love you like we do
Jeremiah Rodriguez, CTVNews.ca staff
Published Tuesday, June 18, 2019 10:23AM EDT
Toronto Blue Jays legend Joe Carter had some advice for recent NBA champion Kawhi Leonard: L.A. won’t love you like Toronto will.
Carter, who was part of both the baseball club’s 1992 and 1993 World Series wins, said winning the first time meant “having your name enthralled in history for the rest of your entire life and thereafter.”
Despite nearly three decades passing since he hit the pivotal home run in the 1993 win, Carter told CTV’s Your Morning, “your name can still be prominent in Canada.”
But he said it likely would’ve faded if he’d made the play on a team in another city full of sports stars, such as Los Angeles.
“But (there’s) something about being in Canada and bringing the first World [Series] championship outside of the U.S. in baseball to Canada,” Carter said, adding that a similar feeling is likely washing over players on the Raptors’ squad.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer said the team bringing home their first NBA championship “has a great ring to it.”
The Toronto Raptors recently won their first NBA championship and on Monday, the streets of the city were filled with a massive crowd of fans who turned out to cheer the team’s victory parade.
Leonard will officially become a free agent next month and he’s been quite silent on whether he intends on staying with the Raptors. But Carter hopes he “makes the right decision” because “Toronto is the place to be, baby."
“There are so many similarities between my career and what Kawhi is going through,” he said, explaining that, like Leonard, he too was a free agent after winning the World Series.
He could have left after the Blue Jay’s first win in ‘92 and signed on with a higher profile team, but ultimately chose not to. At the time, Carter’s wife, children and family were living in Kansas City but he felt that “it’s not always good to play where you live at.”
“I had a dream and the Lord showed me that coming back to Toronto was what I needed to do,” he said, adding that, “Toronto has become my second home.”
He said, “Toronto was one of the best times of my entire life.”
Since then, Carter has been a part of several philanthropic efforts, including his annual charity golf tournament, which is now in its 10th year.
The baseball star said he helped start the Joe Carter Classic Golf Tournament as way to “give back to the community.” Since it began, Carter estimates that $3 million has been raised for the Children’s Aid Foundation and other charities in the Greater Toronto Area.
“If we’re on the pedestal, why not make something great happen?” he said. “If we can give these kids some hope, I’m all for it.”