Gary Carter attends college's practice

Updated: September 20, 2011, 10:01 AM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

ST. LOUIS -- Gary Carter's battle with cancerous brain tumors has taken much of his energy, but the Hall of Fame catcher was able to briefly help coach his Palm Beach Atlantic University baseball team this past week.

Carter was due to begin taking a second, higher-dosage round of chemotherapy pills Monday night, but his white-blood-cell count was too low, his daughter Kimmy Bloemers wrote in an online family journal to which ESPNNewYork.com has been granted access.

"There is no doubt that dad is fighting an extremely difficult battle," Bloemers wrote. "He is exhausted, sad at times, unmotivated and frustrated that his body won't move like it used to. However, there are moments where we will see dad laugh, smile and show that determined attitude to win.

"This past week has been a rollercoaster of emotions again, with a mixture of ups and downs. Dad has done a lot of resting and sitting around the house -- not because he wants to, but because his body and mind lack the energy to do much of anything."

Carter attended a practice of the Palm Beach Atlantic baseball team he coaches and sat in a chair as players took batting practice. An associate head coach has been hired to handle the bulk of the activities.

Carter managed to play seven holes of golf with friends this past week. He swam 10 laps and walked on a treadmill and rode an exercise bicycle for five minutes each Sunday.

Earlier, he also played catch with his daughter Bloemers, the Palm Beach Atlantic softball coach.

"His reactions were perfect as I threw the ball to him at about 80 percent speed," Bloemers wrote. "He caught every single ball. Dad sort of flipped the ball overhand to me instead of actually throwing. He said it felt weird since he hadn't thrown since May, but he appreciated the encouragement to try something that he loves -- anything that deals with baseball.

"Down at the beach, dad enjoyed sitting on the chair listening to the waves and watching his granddaughter play in the sand and water. Toward the end of our time at the beach, we helped dad walk down to the water. Unfortunately, it was a sad moment to see dad struggle. He was unbalanced and weak. We headed home and dad rested at home for the night."

Carter is a Hall of Famer catcher who played 18 seasons in the big leagues, most notably for the New York Mets and Montreal Expos.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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