Joseph Christopher Carter (born March 7, 1960) is an American former professional baseball player.
He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder and first baseman from 1983 to 1998.
Carter first reached the majors in 1983 with the Chicago Cubs, but was traded to the Cleveland Indians the following year, where he blossomed into a star.
Carter emerged as a prolific power hitter, hitting as many as 35 home runs in a season and regularly driving in 100 or more runs.
He usually hit nearly as many doubles as he did homers, and would get respectable numbers of triples in many years too.
Carter’s overall game improved dramatically in 1991, as he helped the Toronto Blue Jays win the division title and hit the game-winning single that clinched the AL East championship; he also emerged for the first time as a team leader.
In 1992, he helped the Jays win their first World Series championship, the first ever won by a Canadian-based team.
Carter hit two home runs and recorded the final out of the Series, taking a throw to first base from reliever Mike Timlin to nab Otis Nixon of the Atlanta Braves, who bunted.
This was the first time a World Series ended on a bunt.
On a 2–2 count, Carter hit a three-run walk-off home run off Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams (against whom he was 0–4 career) to win the World Series, only the second time a Series has ended with a home run (the other being in 1960, when Bill Mazeroski did it for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the New York Yankees), and the only time the home run has been hit by a player whose team was trailing in the bottom of the 9th inning in a potential championship clinching game.
Upon hitting the home run, Carter went into a hysteria, jumping up and down many times, most notably while rounding first base, where his helmet came off.
In 1979, during the first part of his first college season, Carter was consigned to the bench.
Then, after several calls from Carter’s father, his coach decided to give the freshman outfielder a chance.
In a five-game series against Texas Tech, Carter’s batting average was .438 and he hit five home runs.
Such a performance ensured that Carter would never be stuck warming the bench again. He was named to the college All-America second team in both 1979 and 1980.
He was also regularly named to the NCAA All-District Five and the All-Missouri Valley Conference teams. On this dismal team, Carter was the captain and star player.
Batting .302 in 1986, he led the American League in runs batted in (121) and runs produced (200).
In 1987 he hit 32 home runs, helping Cleveland finish the season 37 games behind the division champion.
The following year, with 32 home runs and stolen 31 bases, he became the first 30-30 man in the history of the team.
In 1988 he ranked among the American League’s top ten in home runs, runs batted in, gamewinning runs batted in, total bases, extra base hits, and triples. In 1989 he hit a career-high 35 home runs.