Nolan Ryan is coming back, Gary Carter isn't.
Ryan, who has stymied hitters in four decades while compiling seven no-hitters, 319 victories and more than three dozen major league records, said Friday in Arlington, Tex., that he intends to return for a major league-record 27th season.
Meanwhile in Montreal, Carter, with tears and sobs, announced that he would retire from baseball at the end of the season.
"Timing is so important," the 38-year-old catcher said during a news conference. "I was contemplating and praying about retirement for some time. My body cries out. It hurts. I like to think I could continue, but I'm not comfortable with the numbers I've had in the last few years."
Ryan, 45, said he is looking forward to pitching in 1993.
"I still feel I can help our ballclub win," he said. "This was a disappointing season on both a personal and team basis, and I anticipate better results in both cases next season."
Ryan (319-287) is tied at 26 seasons with James McGuire, a catcher from 1884-1912, and Tommy John, who pitched from 1963-89.
Under the contract agreed to between Ryan and the Texas Rangers on July 18, 1991, the team has a $3.6-million option for 1993, of which $900,000 would be deferred with interest. The team has until eight days after the season to exercise the option, and must pay a $200,000 buyout if it doesn't.
Ryan is 5-9 this season with a 3.83 earned-run average and 152 strikeouts in 150 1/3 innings. He is baseball's career strikeout leader at 5,663.
Ryan has hinted for weeks that he might return.
"I think this year it was a lot tougher to come to this decision than in other years," Ryan said.
Ryan is scheduled to pitch Sunday against Seattle. He threw six scoreless innings Tuesday against Minnesota, giving up four hits in a game the Rangers lost, 1-0, in 13. Carter, an 11-time All-Star, is hitting .216 in 282 at-bats this season with five homers and 28 RBIs. He has a .262 career average in 18 major league seasons with 324 homers--55th on the career list--and 1,224 RBIs.
"People will remember me as an Expo. My identity is with the Expos, not anyone else," said Carter, who spent 11 seasons in Montreal. "This is really a happy day. The happiest day was signing with the Expos in 1972 and then returning here for the 1992 season."
Carter spent five seasons with the New York Mets, winning a World Series ring in 1986, and one each with the Giants and Dodgers.