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Razorback great Bubba Carpenter

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorback great Bubba Carpenter

This is the latest in a series of features on the 2010 University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor inductees.

FAYETTEVILLE – Born Charles Sydney Carpenter, on the diamond and to the fans of Razorback baseball he was better known as Bubba. The Brentwood, Ark., native was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter during this career at the University of Arkansas which spanned the 1988-91 seasons.

Carpenter was a three-time All-Southwest Conference performer for the Razorbacks, adding an All-SWC Tournament selection during the 1990 season. During his career, Carpenter was also part of the Arkansas team that advanced to the 1989 College World Series and finished fifth nationally. In 1989 and 1990, Carpenter and the Razorbacks claimed SWC titles with 17-4 and 16-5 league records, respectively; the 1989 club also tied a program record with 51 wins overall.

After a freshman season in which he had a .276 batting average in 24 games, Carpenter stepped into the starting lineup in 1989 and emerged as one of Arkansas’ top bats. He was fourth on the team with a .351 batting average and had the third-highest RBI total with 41 runs driven in.

With a career featuring several big games and pressure moments, Carpenter was part of Razorback history that season when Arkansas and Texas A&M played a 16-inning game on May 5 that lasted five hours and 57 minutes, the longest game in program history. The Hogs prevailed with an 11-9 victory on the Aggies home field in College Station.

During his junior campaign, Carpenter continued to make his mark at the plate. He finished the season with a career-best .360 batting average. On the way to earning his second all-conference honor, Carpenter tortured opposing SWC pitching and hit .413 during league play. Coupled with his .424 conference batting average during the previous year, Carpenter became the first SWC player to hit at least .400 in consecutive conference seasons since 1971-72.

Carpenter ended his collegiate playing days with a career-high six home runs as a senior, tying for second place on the team. His 40 RBI were the third most for the Razorbacks in 1991. He also tallied a career-best 45 runs scored. Carpenter posted a .301 batting average in his final season wearing the Cardinal and White. It also marked the final season for Arkansas in the SWC before transitioning to the Southeastern Conference.

In addition to the 1989 College World Series, Carpenter was a member of three SWC Tournament teams (1988-90) and three NCAA Tournament teams (1988-90). He is still scattered in the Razorback records book, tied for fourth all-time with 121 walks and tied for 10th with 13 career triples. Carpenter finished his career with a .332 batting average, 195 hits, 141 runs, 10 home runs and 119 RBI.

Following his collegiate career, Carpenter signed with the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1991. He spent the next nine seasons in the Yankees’ system, including seven years with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers of the International League. His perseverance paid off as he made his MLB debut May 13, 2000, with the Colorado Rockies. In 15 games with the Rockies, he had three home runs and five RBI.

He also spent some time with the New York Mets organization during his professional playing career. During his 13-year career in the minor leagues, 11 of which were spent at the Triple-A level, Carpenter totaled 110 home runs and 556 RBI with a .267 batting average.

UA Sports Hall of Honor members are selected by a vote of former letterwinners in conjunction with the "A" Club. The official induction is Friday, Sept. 3, at the Springdale Convention Center. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased from the Razorback Foundation. For more information, call the Razorback Foundation at 479-443-9000.



Sports Category : Baseball