The Times West Virginian

Local sports

May 15, 2007

Carpenter makes an unexpected visit home

COLUMN

PLEASANT VALLEY — When former East Fairmont and West Virginia University baseball standout David Carpenter began minor league spring training earlier this year, he certainly couldn’t have expected to be home for Mother’s Day.

Carpenter, who was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 12th round last summer, was in West Palm Beach, Fla., preparing for his upcoming season in Class A.

“They were really excited with some of the things that were going on in spring training,” said Carpenter, who was a special guest at East’s softball practice Tuesday afternoon. “Things were looking up because I was hitting the ball really well and also doing really well behind the plate like I normally did.”

Being a catcher, Carpenter is used to the grind, toughness, and wear and tear that come with the position.

Just imagine the aches and pains professional catchers go through each day, each week, each month and each year, catching countless balls coming at you at speeds anywhere between 70 and 100 miles per hour.

So with just three days remaining before spring training was complete and players went off to their respective teams within the Cardinals’ organization, Carpenter’s left wrist began to bother him.

“I just kept on going like I normally would, taped it up, and kept playing,” he said. “I took a swing and just felt something kind of pop.”

After visiting the training staff and following tests and an X-ray, Carpenter learned that he had broken the hamate bone in his left wrist. It’s a small “hook-shaped” bone resting on the fourth and fifth metacarpal bones.

Needless to say, Carpenter suffered his first setback as a professional baseball player.

Following surgery last Tuesday, he’s now scheduled to be out eight to nine weeks.

“This was definitely unexpected, and it kind of came out of nowhere. They (trainers) just said it’s one of those freak things that happens every once in a while,” he said. “It’s strange because this is definitely the longest I’ve been out without being able to pick up a ball or bat.”

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