Gary Carter made baseball history Sunday when he became the first player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Montreal Expo.

The former Expos catcher, nicknamed "kid" for his youthful appearance and energy on the field, was honored at a ceremony in Cooperstown, New York.

"This great game is as innocent as children longing for the past," he said during his speech.

At one point he spoke a few words of French, thanking fans in Montreal for the great honour and pleasure of playing in that city.

Carter became emotional as he talked about how much the induction would have meant to his parents. His mother died when he was 12. His father, who was his Little League coach, passed away a few weeks after the Hall of Fame voting in January.

"My parents can't be here with me in person, but I know they're smiling down. Mom, pop, you're missed but will never be forgotten. I know how proud you guys are today."

Carter spent 12 seasons with the Expos, leading them to their first and only playoff series in 1981.

He spent a total of 19 seasons in the majors, winning his only World Series with the New York Mets.

First baseman Eddie Murray, who spent most of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, was also inducted into the Hall of Fame Sunday.