MIDDLETOWN - Middletown gave a hero's homecoming to its newest Hall of Famer Tuesday, 9 On Your Side's John Popovich reported.
Cris Carter, elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in February, was celebrated at his alma mater, Middletown High School. As family, friends and 1,700 students looked on in the school gym, Cris received a plaque from his brother Butch Carter, a former NBA coach and player. Later, in a ceremony at Barnitz Stadium, the school named the football field in Cris's honor.
Former Ohio State coach Earle Bruce called Carter "a great, great football player.
"He played with all of his heart all the time," Bruce said. "He was a joy to watch at Ohio State. He caught the ball as well as anybody and more times than many people."
The day ended with a big celebration at the Manor House in Mason.
Carter tossed out the first pitch at the Reds game Monday night.
Middletown is the smallest city in the country that can boast of a football Hall of Famer and a basketball Hall of Famer, Jerry Lucas.
After starring at Ohio State, Carter had an illustrious 16-year NFL career with the Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins. For 10 straight seasons, Carter led the Vikings in receptions. In 1994, he set the then-NFL record with 122 catches. He matched that total a year later in what was arguably his best season when he racked up a career-high 1,371 yards and 17 touchdowns.
When he retired in 2002, he had scored 130 touchdowns, which ranked second most in NFL history. He finished his 234-game career as the NFL's second all-time leading receiver with 1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards.
Carter will be inducted into Canton on Saturday, Aug. 3.
Read about the enshrinement ceremonies and buy tickets at http://www.profootballhof.com/enshrinement/
See Carter's Hall of Fame bio at http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.aspx?PlayerId=271