His death was a tragic, untimely loss, seemingly without reason. The hope of many is that this field of dreams in our home town will offer the next generation what may seem impossible: a chance at the big league and the big time. My sincere hope in this article is, maybe in his memory, I can expose what I believe has stolen the best years of Gary’s and many other ballplayers’ lives. That is what I will attempt to explore and assert. The cruel twists and turns of this arduous life don’t make sense at times, especially when it seems the good die young and the impetuous inherit the earth. I never had the pleasure of personally meeting Mr. Gary Carter, but his reputation preceded him. His career in the major leagues spanned decades and his philanthropy will span even more. He was known as “Kid” for his ebullient demeanor. He was known to all as number 8 on the field, to some as dad, to some as one of a kind to many more, he will be forever remembered as Gary Carter, one of baseball’s great players.
On Saturday, Febuary 21st, field two at the Fullerton Sports complex will be dedicated and officially named Gary Carter field.
One of my sons is a catcher and wore number 8 for several years. My older son will be playing in the tribute game being held in Mr. Carter’s honor, ironically here, just a few miles to the east of where Gary used to play in his younger years in the empty fields on the corner of Rosecrans and Sunny Ridge drive. Today there you can find a 20+ acre golf course which is meticulously landscaped and cared for which is now known as the McColl superfund site.
Gary attended Sunny Hills High School and would eventually write his own ticket because of his athletic gifts. He had what it took to make the big leagues and that he did. In 1972 he signed with the Expos. Life would never be the same. Gary was drafted as a shortstop but several years later he would permanently change positions to catcher. He would spend the better part of the next 20 years behind home plate. This would be the “kid’s” new home. Throughout his remarkable career, Gary Carter caught more major league games than all but three players in baseball history. Some would estimate that Gary Carter caught upwards of three to four hundred thousand pitches behind home plate.
Gary Carter eventually developed a very aggressive form of terminal cancer in his brain that led to his tragic, untimely death. The type of cancer is known as glioblastoma. Brain cancer seems to be increasingly prevalent in our society and even more so in some sports. Baseball, in particular seems to be the sport where the tumors are becoming the most prevalent. You would initially suspect that head trauma would be responsible and that contact sports like hockey or football would lead the way statistically. Oddly enough, that is not the case. Baseball players like catchers and pitchers seem to be the ones plagued by this dreaded disease.
Cancer is a disease whose causes can vary just a widely as the different forms and is very difficult to prove what specifically is responsible. With respect to the big leagues, the experts are baffled as to causation but in agreement that there is indeed a strange correlation to baseball. Time magazine had a piece a few years back on it:
There are many baseball players that spend time behind home plate and on the mound. and they live long healthy lives. However there is definitely an inordinate amount that do not. I believe there are reasons that he and other players met the same fate and succumb to this disease and while many who spend their lives out on that field do not.’
I would like to explore what I believe to be the common denominator and and cause of what is being observed. I believe there is a logical explanation for we are witnessing.
Gary Carter was a catcher. He had tumors that resembled a snake wrapped around the back of his brain. Let us look at some of baseballs other players that suffered a similar fate.
Dan Quisenberry was a right handed pitcher who developed brain cancer on his left temporal lobe.
Bobby Bonds, the father of Barry Bonds, was an outfielder. He developed a brain tumor and lung cancer.
One of the more notable anomalies in baseball’s bizarre brain tumor incidence is what went on with The Phillys at veterans stadium.
Five players, Tug McGraw, John Vukovich, Johnny Oates, Ken Brett and Darren Daulton all had brain tumors.
Tug Mcgraw was a pitcher. The location of his tumor was located on his left temporal lobe.
John Vukovich was an infielder spending most of his career at 3rd base.
Johnny Oates was a catcher. His tumor was in the back of his head in the brain stem.
Ken Brett was a pitcher. His tumor was on his frontal lobe.
Darren Daulton is a catcher. He has a brain tumor.
Ricky Stone is a pitcher. He developed a malignant brain tumor.
Bobby Mercer was a center fielder and a broadcaster and his tumor was on his right frontal lobe.
Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky, 32, had a cancerous tumor on his left arm.
Lets look at some umpires. Although they rotate their positions on the field, they spend plenty of time behind the plate.
Orioles long-time umpires attendant Ernie Tyler, who has worked 51 consecutive Opening Days including 3,819 consecutive home games in Baltimore, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Longtime big league home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt had a career that spanned from 1966-98 and was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Frank Dezelan, a major league home plate umpire, umpired for 10 years in the minor leagues and then in the major leagues from 1966-1971. Surgery to remove a brain tumor ended his career when he was 42.
Lanny Harris was a home plate umpire in the National League for 7 full seasons, from 1979 to 1985. In 1985, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and given six months to live.
Todd Felis walked away from a coordinator position with Big League Dreams to return to umpiring logging 5000 games. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
MLB’s Executive Director Michael Weiner has also been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
What is striking is the majority of the aforementioned individuals is that most are in the direct trajectory of the ball when it is being pitched. Why do the brain tumors seem to plague pitchers and catchers? Why that particular group of individuals?
The anomaly at Veterans stadium in Philadelphia brings no less than five players to oncology wards. The brain cancer rate was 3 to 4 times what the average should have been and four out of the fiver were either pitchers or catchers. Was it the synthetic turf that they played on? Was it the proximity to the South Philadelphia refineries? Was it due to the stadium being built on a dump? If so what about all of the other players on the field besides the pitcher and catcher? Why are they not seemingly affected? What about the grounds crew, season ticket holders or anyone else that worked for years in, on and around the astro turf? Considering that the odds in a normal environment of contracting brain cancer is about 1 in 8,000 and that there were only a couple of hundred Phillies who played during the last 30 years, the question should be raised concerning possible public health risks from the facility.
Let us first look at Astro Turf. According to the U.S. Patent Office, Astro Turf is composed of many ingredients including polyvinyl chloride which is a plastic that when exposed to temperatures of 86 degrees or more breaks down into a dioxin. In addittion, studies have concluded that artificial turf contains dangerous toxins like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and lead including the lead chromate pigment. http://today.uchc.edu/headlines/2007/nov07/toxins.html
UV degradation along with the elements aid in the decomposition of polyvinyl chloride compounds and release their contents into their environment. Rub your fingers along a white pvc pipe in your yard that has been exposed to the elements and look at the white powder that will stick to your hand. The same pipe will not do that on the shelf at the hardware store.
What about the refinery pollution or the jets landing over the stadium? Why does it appear that the pitchers and catchers are the only ones affected? What about all of the other players from other teams that played on the field throughout the seasons? Once more, why are they not affected? Good question.
What did Gary Carter have in common with the five players from the Phillies who came down with brain tumors?
One of the fields where Gary Carter used to play in his youth was later determined to be a superfund site called the McColl site in Fullerton California. From 1942 to 1946, this location served as a dump for the petroleum industry. The principal contaminants of concern (COC) are: benzene, tetrahydrothiophenes (THTs), and metals. EPA McColl site info. When dumping operations ceased, it subsequently became an empty field. Like many children are naturally inclined to do to this very day, they play in empty fields. Gary, along with hundreds of children over the next 50 years, played in those fields, breathing the air, inhaling the metallic laden dust and the airborne organic compounds. The older kids on my block used to ride up there to dirt bike, play in those fields and even go shooting up in the Coyote Hills. So what about all of the kids that used to play in the fields up there off of Rosecrans? I grew up with some of them. Why are they not all sick?
Like the five Phillies, Gary was exposed to and ingested carcinogens. Gary breathed his from the dust and physical contact with the soil. So did the neighborhood kids. The five Phillies spent an inordinate amount of time on the Astro Turf breathing and coming into contact with carcinogens as well but so did countless others. The players used their cell phones, lived on an on the road diet at times and were frequently subjected to a lack of sleep on the road trips. So were all the other players?
So what is different about these individuals?
Why were they possibly susceptible to a greater extent than their counterparts to these carcinogens and external factors off of the field if indeed they were responsible? What did Gary Carter and these others have in common?
All professional Baseball players have it rough. There is no doubt about it. I have known at least one personally and all the way from his farm team days to the big time under the bright lights, it has been an incredibly trying time both physically and emotionally. Long hours away from home and family are just one of the hallmarks of baseball’s commitments. All baseball players use cellphones to fill the long hours hours away from home. So why are the GBM’s are on the rise in just the pitchers, and catchers . It is no coincidence that this is the area of the brain closest to which the cell phone is held. Baseball players (even retired) probably use their cell phones often as they are on the road often. So why don’t we see the left or right fielders, coaches, or first basemen inordinately coming down with brain tumors on a similar basis?
A lot goes on behind the plate as that is where all the action is. There are a lot of eyes and ears 30 feet back in the stands. What most people don’t realize is that part of the action behind the plate and elsewhere involves radar. The radar is aimed at the pitcher from behind home plate and at times, in center field aimed at the catchers to get the velocities off of the bat. It is used on almost every ball that is pitched and caught, whether it be at practice, spring training or during regular season, a radar gun is in operation aimed directly at the pitcher. The catcher is also smack dab in the middle of the radar beam. Gary Carter was no exception. He was in the radar gun’s line of fire almost all of the time. For that matter, so are most catchers, pitchers and even umpires. So why then, do not all pitchers, catchers and umpires get brain tumors?
Let’s talk about radar. Radar employs microwave technology to determine the velocity of the ball as it travels to home plate from the pitcher’s mound. It emits a precisely focused, directional beam of electromagnetic radiation that travels right through the catcher, umpire and to the pitcher. Just how many radar guns were in use at each respective game is unclear to me at this point but it is being investigated.
In the 1960’s, The X band frequency was used extensively which covered the 8-12 GHz range. In the early 1970’s this was changed to the K band at 18-26 GHZ. Eventually the frequencies on radar guns were shifted to Ka bands, thus creating a more powerful, and accurate reading in the 26-40 GHz range. I can still remember listening to Don Drysdale broadcasting on KMPC on my transistor radio in the 1970’s talking about them clocking Nolan Ryan’s 100 mph fast balls. Radar has been around on the ball field for a long time.
Today, the readily available inexpensive models current operate on a frequency similar to the microwave oven in your home, which is around 2.4 GHz. This is also the same frequency that your WiFi and WiFi enabled wireless devices, including some cordless and cellular phones operate on as well. It is well established that microwaves have been shown to make the blood brain barrier permeable to toxins and metals.
I believe this unique combination of cause and effect is why Gary and these individuals fell victim to this tragedy and many others, although exposed to the toxins, were not exposed to the radar failed to develop tumors. Those exposed to the radar that were not exposed to the toxins failed to develop tumors as well. I believe that both are required for the brain tumors to form and this explains what we are observing.
Below is an excerpt from Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D. Director, Center for Family and Community Health School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley that confirms what low intensity microwaves do to the blood brain barrier:
“Since exposure to low intensity microwave radiation can open the blood-brain barrier, toxic chemical exposure may be more harmful to anyone who is exposed to wireless radiation. For example, see http://bit.ly/14HDUpZ.]”
‘Putting the next generation of brains in danger’
Saundra Young, CNN, Feb 14, 2014
The number of chemicals known to be toxic to children’s developing brains has doubled over the last seven years, researchers said.
Dr. Philip Landrigan at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Dr. Philippe Grandjean from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, authors of the review published Friday in The Lancet Neurology journal, say the news is so troubling they are calling for a worldwide overhaul of the regulatory process in order to protect children’s brains.
“We know from clinical information on poisoned adult patients that these chemicals can enter the brain through the blood brain barrier and cause neurological symptoms,” said Grandjean.
“When this happens in children or during pregnancy, those chemicals are extremely toxic, because we now know that the developing brain is a uniquely vulnerable organ. Also, the effects are permanent.”
The two have been studying industrial chemicals for about 30 years. In 2006, they published data identifying five chemicals as neurotoxicants — substances that impact brain development and can cause a number of neurodevelopmental disabilities including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, dyslexia and other cognitive damage, they said.
Those five are lead, methylmercury, arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and toluene.
Banned in the United States in 1979, PCBs were used in hundreds of products including paint, plastic, rubber products and dyes. Toluene is in household products like paint thinners, detergents, nail polish, spot removers and antifreeze.
Now, after further review, six more chemicals have been added to the list: manganese; fluoride; tetrachloroethylene, a solvent; a class of chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or flame retardants; and two pesticides, chlorpyrifos, which is widely used in agriculture, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethan
“The continuing research has identified six new chemicals that are toxic to the developing human brain,” said Landrigan. “We’re turning up chemicals at the rate of about one a year that we’re discovering are capable of damaging the developing brain of a human fetus or human infant.”
To examine fluoride, which is in tap water in many areas, Landrigan and Grandjean looked at an analysis of 27 studies of children, mostly in China, who were exposed to fluoride in drinking water at high concentrations. The data, they said, suggests a decline on average of about seven IQ points.
There’s another big concern: “We are very worried that there are a number of other chemicals out there in consumer products that we all contact every day that have the potential to damage the developing brain, but have never been safety tested,” Landrigan said.
“Over the last six or seven years we are actually adding brain toxic chemicals at a greater speed than we are adding toxicity evidence in children’s brains,” Grandjean said.
“At least 1,000 chemicals using lab animals have shown that they somehow interfere with brain function in rodents — rats and mice — and those are prime candidates for regulatory control to protect human developing brains. But this testing has not been done systematically.”
At greatest risk? Pregnant women and small children, according to Grandjean. According to the review, the biggest window of vulnerability occurs in utero, during infancy and early childhood.
The impact is not limited to loss of IQ points.
“Beyond IQ, we’re talking about behavior problems — shortening of attention span, increased risk of ADHD,” Landrigan said.
“We’re talking about emotion problems, less impulse control, (being) more likely to make bad decisions, get into trouble, be dyslexic and drop out of school. … These are problems that are established early, but travel through childhood, adolescence, even into adult life.”
It’s not just children: All these compounds are toxic to adults, too. In fact, in 2006 the pair documented 201 chemicals toxic to the adult nervous system, usually stemming from occupational exposures, poisonings and suicide attempts.
The American Chemistry Council, meanwhile, called the review a “rehash” of the authors’ first review.
“This iteration is as highly flawed as the first, as once again the authors ignore the fundamental scientific principles of exposure and potency,” said council spokesman Scott Jensen.
“What is most concerning is that the authors focus largely on chemicals and heavy metals that are well understood to be inappropriate for children’s exposure, are highly regulated and/or are restricted or being phased out. They then extrapolate that similar conclusions should be applied to chemicals that are more widely used in consumer products without evidence to support their claims. Such assertions do nothing to advance true scientific understanding and only create confusion and alarm.”
Landrigan and Grandjean now say all untested chemicals in use and all new chemicals should be tested for developmental neurotoxicity.
This is not a new concept. In 2007, the European Union adopted regulations known as REACH — Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals — to protect human health from risks posed by chemicals. REACH covers all chemicals, placing the burden of proof on companies to prove that any chemicals they make are safe.
“We are behind right now and we’re falling further behind,” Landrigan said. “… I find it very irritating some of the multinational manufacturers are now marketing products in Europe and the U.S. with the same brand name and same label, but in Europe (they) are free of toxic chemicals and in the U.S. they contain toxic chemicals.”
The best example of this, he said, is cosmetics and phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in hundreds of products from cosmetics, perfume, hair spray, soap and shampoos to plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, miniblinds, food containers and plastic wrap.
You can also find them in plastic plumbing pipes, medical tubing and fluid bags, vinyl flooring and other building materials. They are used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl.
In Europe, cosmetics don’t contain phthalates, but here in the United States some do.
Phthalates previously were used in pacifiers, soft rattles and teethers. But in 1999, after a push from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, American companies stopped using them in those products.
“We certainly have the capability, it’s a matter of political will,” Landrigan said. “We have tried in this country over the last decade to pass chemical safety legislation but the chemical industry and their supporters have successfully beat back the effort.”
However, the Food and Drug Administration said two of the most common phthalates, — dibutylphthalate, or DBP, used as a plasticizer in products such as nail polishes to reduce cracking by making them less brittle, and dimethylphthalate, or DMP used in hairsprays — are now rarely used in this country.
Diethylphthalate, or DEP, used in fragrances, is the only phthalate still used in cosmetics, the FDA said.
“It’s not clear what effect, if any, phthalates have on human health,” according to the FDA’s website. “An expert panel convened from 1998 to 2000 by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), part of the National Institute for Environmental Safety and Health, concluded that reproductive risks from exposure to phthalates were minimal to negligible in most cases.”
But Grandjean is unfazed.
“We know enough about this to say we need to put a special emphasis on protecting developing brains. We are not just talking about single chemicals anymore. We are talking about chemicals in general.”
“This does not necessarily mean restrict the use of all chemicals, but it means that they need to be tested whether they are toxic to brain cells or not,” he said.
“We have the test methods and protocols to determine if chemicals are toxic to brain cells. If we look at this globally, we are looking at more than a generation of children — a very high proportion of today’s children have been exposed to lead, mercury and other substances, including substances that have not yet been tested but are suspect of being toxic to brain development.”
The Environmental Working Group is an environmental health research organization that specializes in toxic chemical analysis and has long called for reforms. In 2004, the group tested 10 samples of umbilical cord blood for hundreds of industrial pollutants and found an average of 200 in each sample.
“Here in the U.S., the federal law put in place to ostensibly protect adults and children from exposures to dangerous chemicals, including those that can present serious risks to the brain and nervous systems, has been an abject failure,” said Environmental Working Group spokesman Alex Formuzis.
“The 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act has instead been largely responsible for the pollution in people beginning in the womb, where hundreds of industrial contaminants literally bathe the developing fetus.”
Landrigan is recruiting pregnant women for a new study that will test for chemical exposures. He said it’s inevitable that over the next few years more chemicals will be added to the list.
His concern? “The ability to detect these chemicals lags behind the chemical industries’ ability to develop new chemicals and put them into consumer products. That’s why we need new legislation in this country to close that gap.”
“We are lagging behind,” Grandjean said. “And we are putting the next generation of brains in danger.”
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
There are many studies and research papers that confirm that microwaves allow toxins to get into the brain that would under normal circumstances, not be able to enter:
Colorado Rockies scout Chris Forbes came down with two brain tumors.
Tom Pratt was the 12-year pitching coach for the MLB’s Chicago Cubs and has a brain tumor.
Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association died of brain cancer. I believe it was probably due to his cell phone use.
Gliomas (brain cancers) have been linked to wireless exposure.
As a matter of fact, the Italian supreme court ruled that microwave radiation from cell phones did in fact cause tumors. Remember that radar guns emit microwave radiation.
How about other sports like tennis that use radar?
So how many tennis players are getting brain tumors?
Tim Gullikson, the uncommon tennis player who never made an enemy and who became the coach of the best player in the world, died of the brain cancer he had been fighting for nearly 18 months at the age of 44.
Helen Kelesi had a brain tumor.
James Broach had just become the first and only Trinity men’s tennis player to win a national championship in singles and doubles. He died after a three-year battle with brain cancer. He was 37
Renee Simpson died of brain cancer at age 47.
Todd Witsken was a three-time All-American at USC and died of brain cancer at age 34
Leander Paes, one of the world’s best doubles tennis players, was treated for a brain lesion that turned out to be a parasitic brain infection.
Alice Reen, is a professional tennis player and a two-time brain tumor survivor.
Stephen Bell, a champion tennis player died of a brain tumor at the age of 38.
Chuck McKinley was clearly among the most charismatic players of the early 1960s. He passed away far too young at 45 of a brain tumor.
I believe that so many are dead or dying from wireless microwave radiation this and yet government and the industry is trying to hide it from the public. How could major league baseball or the tennis associations not even mention any of this anywhere? Has no one ever put these pieces together?
Radar guns emit wireless microwave radiation. Wireless microwave radiation has been determined to be a class 2B carcinogen by the World Health Organization. list of class 2B carcinogens begins on page 9
Some scientists believe if accurately assessed today, wireless microwave radiation would be listed as a class 1 carcinogen. Dr Hardell of the World Health Organization EMF Working Group, now states radio frequency radiation meets criteria for a group 1 carcinogen and that “Current guidelines for exposure need to be urgently revised”. http://lennarthardellenglish.
Think of the tremendous industry influence over the scientific community and government regulators.
The FCC exposure guidelines for wireless radiation only take into consideration acute burning of tissue and ignore all non thermal biological effects that are found at much lower exposure levels. There is much debate over this particular issue. For example:
Cell phones, WiFi routers, wireless TVs, dvr’s, blue tooth devices,iPads, tablets, laptops, security systems, printers, and any other wireless device emits this carcinogen. Depending on how toxic of an environment you live in, will determine how synergistically the radiation with work with the poisons around you and your children to produce disease.
I believe that Gary Carter and many others would possibly still be alive today if those we entrust with our safety and our very lives at times would stand up and face head on what has spent the better part of the last 35 years behind home plate. It sadly has now managed to enter our homes, schools and workplaces, and in some cases, without even our knowledge or consent.
Major league baseball as well as all sports need to act on this and end this needless tragedy of some of our finest men and women who tirelessly give of themselves for the game.
There is nothing more precious than to see the sun shine forever in a child’s eyes. Their excitement of being in the stands of a big league game or simply playing on the little league field is priceless. We all know that without the children there is no tomorrow for any aspect of our society. How much longer will we have to tolerate the silence on the wireless microwave radiation dangers especially to our children?
I would like to show you a photo of what I believe to be the biggest threat of all to our children. It is taking place in the classrooms and maybe even at home. This is a photo of a child, not with a radar gun to his head but rather something, in my opinion, that is far more dangerous. It is a microwave transmitter.
The Fullerton Informer shared from:
The wireless antenna is right on his zipper IRRADIATING HIS GENITALIA. WHY DID APPLE PUT THE ANTENNA ON THE BOTTOM IN THE CENTER?
There appears to be a link between cell phones in the kept in the bra and breast cancer-
–and then there is Dr Hardell’s work that proves wireless microwave radiation causes cancer.
Need I say more? YES BECAUSE THERE IS MORE!
What does this do to the sensitive developing reproductive organs?
How can this be happening?
What is all this wireless doing to the unborn? Are the same mechanisms at work in Autism involving metals and microwave radiation?
You see, my son will be playing on that field tomorrow in honor of Gary Carter. Ironically my other son is number 8 on his little league team and my oldest will be wearing the “kid” shirt tomorrow at the game. My hope for my sons is that they will have a “kid” of their own someday and with any luck more than just one. Sadly I believe that what is taking place right before our very eyes may make that reality a mere impossibility some day.
When my father died of cancer some 12 years ago from causes totally unrelated to wireless, I availed myself to warn others of the mistakes he and others unknowingly made and continue to make in the hopes of many others gaining insight into what may not be evident to the unsuspecting.
While what has happened to Gary Carter and those that have gone before him cannot be changed, what can be gained is insight into what needs to change so that others don’t have to go down that road. Ladies and gentlemen, wireless radiation is not harmless, the trillion dollar wireless industry is not your friend and if you think the government is going to protect you, you have another thing coming. The dangers of microwave radiation have been known for the last 50 years and are still being actively suppressed to this day. This is an agenda at the highest levels plain and simple. https://thefullertoninformer.com/the-inconvenient-truth-of-the-wireless-agenda/
I am sure that if the players that gave their all to the fans that meant it all to them were here today and know what is now evident, they would want you to act in a way consistent with the values they collectively embodied as a team. The need to be strong, courageous, brave and to persevere in spite of at times, insurmountable odds, and to act in a way that was fair, kind, and loving towards those who are the most vulnerable would be the best tribute to Gary Carter and the others that any of us could ever make.
Do it for the “kid” and for all the “kids”. Help us end the largest forced irradiation program of school children that the world has ever known that is currently being carried out all players in this game of life, including our children so that the “kids” may live to display Gary Carter’s once youthful exuberance in perpetuity and have “kids” of their own someday. I am sure he would have wanted it that way.