He’s been a mainstay at his alma mater of Savannah Christian as a coach and a teacher for nearly 30 years – passing along his passion for baseball to generations of players.
But the influence of Carl Carter goes way beyond the baseball diamond. The 60-year-old Carter has touched the lives of his students, colleagues and opponents with his down-to-earth personality and attitude toward life as well as his approach as a baseball coach.
Carter was honored in Atlanta last Friday when he was inducted into the Georgia Dugout Club’s Hall of Fame.
“It meant a lot to me,” said Carter, who has racked up 521 wins as he enters his 29th season as the Raiders’ head coach. “But it’s not about me. I have had so many great players and coaches come through Savannah Christian. And my family has given up so much to let me coach baseball.”
Carter’s wife Leta died in 2015, and the baseball and SCPS community offered its support during trying times.
“Leta was the ultimate baseball wife – I spent all my time coaching from January through June, and she was always there,” Carter said. “My son, Thomas, and daughter, Michelle, also sacrificed a lot and were always there to support me.”
Carter credited former Savannah Christian coach, athletic director and principal Doyle Kelley for giving him a chance as a coach.
“He believed in me when I was young and gave me the opportunity,” Carter said of Kelley, who died last year. “He was my mentor and a best friend.”
Carter has been a mentor and friend to his players as well – and he said one of the best things about his job is having former players come back to visit as men.
One of those players – former SCPS star Will Austin – is an assistant on Carter’s staff this season.
Zack Brockman, the standout senior pitcher for the Raiders who has signed a letter of intent to attend Liberty University, said Carter is a players’ coach.
“I’ve known coach Carter since I was in elementary school going to his baseball camps,” Brockman said. “He has taught me so much. He is a great coach but even a greater man. He is always putting a smile on everyone’s face and is always helping us become better ballplayers and great men.”
Thank you to the author of this article, Dennis Knight, of the Savannah Morning News.