Less than 24 hours after Prosper’s season came to an end in a Game 3 loss to Rockwall, Rick Carpenter was already soaking up more baseball action on the diamond.
Carpenter’s son, St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter, was in town playing against the Texas Rangers, and friends and family gathered in a suite to watch Matt’s final game in North Texas for the season.
While watching the game, Carpenter and his wife received a text that not only altered the rest of their weekend, but the rest of their lives.
“I’m sitting in the front of the suite and my wife hollered at me telling me to look at my phone,” Carpenter said. “I thought something bad had happened because she looked spooked, but it was our real estate agent telling us a guy had made an offer on our house.
“We couldn’t believe it happened right after we got knocked out of the playoffs. My wife told me it was a message from God telling me to get out now.”
Carpenter briefly flirted with the thought of retirement following the conclusion of last season and even put his house on the market a year ago.
After countless months of not getting any nibbles on the house, everything started to fall into place last month and he said selling the house was the final straw in announcing his retirement from coaching.
Carpenter leaves a legacy that is unmatched around the state with 883 career victories in 37 seasons that includes three state titles at Elkins in 1995, 2002 and 2003 and a fourth in 2015 with Prosper.
He is also a member of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and although his coaching accolades are about as good as it gets, the highlight of his illustrious career has nothing do with any award or state championship.
“The best thing was my coaching my two sons,” he said. “That was a thrill because they made it easy on me because they were good. Winning state titles was No. 2. I also had a field named after me at Elkins, and that was also a really big thrill.”
Now that their house is sold and his retirement is official, the next stop for Carpenter is living on a ranch in Glen Rose that was promised to him by his son once he retired.Carpenter’s early years as a boy began on a farm, and it has been a dream of his to get back to that lifestyle once his coaching days were behind him.
On top of maintaining the ranch, he said focusing on family time is the top focus while he also plans to pick up other hobbies that don’t involve baseball along the way.
“I was raised on a farm, so my life is going to take full cycle,” he said. “I can’t tell you how happy I am out about it; I just love it out there. I’m also going to start playing golf. I averaged probably 60-80 hours a week, so I hardly ever played, but I’ll definitely start playing more.”
However, if Carpenter does need that occasional baseball fix at any point in the future, he’ll have plenty of outlets. He plans on watching his son, Matt, play a lot more, as well as coaching up his three grandkids as they become old enough to play.
On top of that, a couple of nearby coaches have already reached out to Carpenter. Glen Rose head baseball coach James Evans, who knows Carpenter from his days at Celina, made sure to let him know he is always welcome to come out to practice whenever he wants.
Carpenter has had four former players go on to play at TCU, including his son Matt, and the Horned Frogs’ head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle already proposed a similar deal to Carpenter as well.
“If I need a baseball fix I have places to go, but I don’t know if I’m going to need that or not,” he said. “I love baseball, but watching Matt and playing with my grandkids might be enough. I think I’m going to be just fine with all of this.”