MONTREAL - Cancer took his life last year but Expos legend Gary Carter is now immortalized with a street near the park where he debuted in 1974.
Faillon Street was renamed rue Gary-Carter next to Jarry Park, where the California catcher won over fans in his first two major league seasons.
"Next week, in 50 years, in 100 years, Gary will be there," said Rodger Brulotte, a former Expos executive and a close friend of the charismatic hall of famer nicknamed "The Kid."
Brulotte held back tears at the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, remembering the high character of the man who earned respect in Montreal and around the league with his effervescent smile and gutsy play.
"It's very difficult for me not to cry in front of you," Brulotte added. "(Gary) was a true gladiator. He was also a very good citizen, a good father and everything as a baseball player."
Carter's family was not present at the unveiling but his widow Sandra will fly in for a ceremony next month when a nearby baseball stadium will be renamed for her husband.
The hall of famer died in February 2012 at the age of 57.
Several fans showed up for Tuesday's ceremony and recalled a boisterous leader who was the face of the Expos back in the days when they were Canada's baseball team.
"It was important for me to be here because this is a player I liked," said Rita Corbeil, 74, who clutched an old photo of herself with Carter.
"It's a beautiful, fitting tribute."