May 11, 2004
Chris Carter has shown a very strong character over his career at Stanford. After earning Stanford's Most Valuable Freshman Award in 2002, Carter missed the first two months of his sophomore season with a shoulder injury. Instead of letting that get him down, Carter worked hard and came back to hit seven home runs in just 87 at bats. Healthy this season, Carter has been living up to his potential.
'There have been a lot of things that have been tough,' Carter said. 'The shoulder injury and then not playing has been hard. The help that I received from Tomoo Yamada and Moira Jamati (both athletic trainers at Stanford) as well as my family and friends has made me realize that I can do anything.'
With his positive attitude, it's no wonder Carter has been excelling at his game. Carter stays positive because he has a genuine passion for playing baseball.
'My father, Bill, got me into playing baseball. I remember hitting whiffle balls with him when I was little,' Carter reminisced. 'When I was twelve or thirteen, I realized that I love playing the game of baseball. Now I can't imagine doing anything else.'
Carter's father has been with him every step of the way over his long association with the game he loves.
'My dad coached me in Little League. He was a good coach, and he knew the game and the basics of a good swing,' Carter said. 'When I was twelve, he said he had helped me as much as he could and he became a dad, coach, and fan at the same time. My dad still gives me advice. We discuss what we both think and make a determination. He's usually right.'
Carter has many great memories of playing baseball in all phases of his life. A 2001 graduate of De La Salle High School in nearby Concord, Carter appreciates the lessons he learned during his time attending the school.
'De La Salle is a great school. It was a lot of fun to become a better baseball player under the guidance of (coach) Matt Castello,' Carter said. 'The school promotes community and religion and gives students many ethical foundations to draw upon. De La Salle has been an instrumental part of who I am today.'
Carter knows he is fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend De La Salle and now Stanford. Both schools are known for their academic and athletic programs
'It's always been a dream of mine to play baseball at Stanford,' Carter said. 'There are a lot of good things about Stanford, both academically and athletically. I love the mix of people that I meet.'
Carter has many memories at Stanford that combine baseball and the people that he has known.
'One of my favorite memories of playing came last year,' Carter remembered. We (the team) were coming back from Reno. My friend and I had both had a good game that day. While we were on the bus, we helped each other with our homework. To me, this is what being a college baseball player is about.'
There are many things that college baseball players must deal with. The combination of baseball and school keeps all of the players extremely busy. Recently, Carter has had to shoulder several other important matters.
Stanford suffered a tragic loss last season while Carter was in the midst of rehabilitating his shoulder. One of the people that Carter became close to was the team's strength coach Greg Johnson, who died at the age of 32 in a car accident in March of 2003.
'Greg was one of the best guys that I ever worked with, and he passed away so suddenly,' Carter remembered. 'When I was injured, he would come in early in the morning and work out with me. We would run together. He didn't have to do that, but he did. His death has made me feel like I never want to give up.'
Carter had to draw on his strength and his strong convictions to get through the tragedy of losing a close friend so suddenly. He has found inspiration from a source very close to him. Carter has drawn this inspiration from his mother, Lori, who is battling breast cancer.
'My mom is thinking positively all the time,' Carter explained. 'She is so strong. Her strength is the biggest inspiration to me.'
With the strength and determination he has found through his personal tragedies, Carter has a strong sense of who he is. He has begun to form a path for his professional life. A human biology major who has considered becoming a doctor, Carter would like to have a career in Major League Baseball. He sees a bright future for himself in the game he loves and expects to be drafted this June in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
'I'm excited about playing baseball professionally. I want to play baseball until I can't play anymore,' Carter said. 'I want to be 40 years old and have had a 20-year MLB career.'
Even though he has been primarily used as a designated hitter during his time at Stanford, Carter sees himself as a versatile player. He has the ability to play the outfield and first base but has found the most playing time at DH due to Stanford's stellar lineup.
'I don't want to limit myself to just being a DH. I have the ability to play in the field, especially in left field or at first base,' Carter said. 'I want the opportunity to play every day and show what I can do. I have a great arm, and I run well. I love playing in the field because it gives me something else to concentrate on.'
Carter enjoys relaxing when away from the field. He likes to read classical novels like Dante's 'Inferno' and Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' as well as more modern books such as Ken Kesey's 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'. Carter also likes to spend time socializing with his friends.
'I just enjoy the whole college experience,' Carter said.
Carter has had the opportunity to enjoy many wonderful college experiences over his time at Stanford. He also has dealt with many things that have defined his character. While Carter loves baseball, he also sees the bigger picture in life.
'Baseball is a huge part of my life, but it doesn't make up all of me,' Carter explained. 'What is really important are the people I come into contact with.
With Carter's talent and strong character, he is sure to find success anywhere he goes.
by Janelle Kwietkauski