Texas upbringing groomed Carpenter for bigs

Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals
Galveston, Texas

Matt Carpenter's father Rick played collegiate ball and has coached various high schools in Texas for more than 25 years. His mother played softball in her youth. As a kid, Matt was constantly around a baseball field even if he wasn't playing on it.

The family bounced around Texas towns because of Rick's coaching obligations. He spent seven seasons at La Marque High School before moving to Lawrence E. Elkins High School, where he built a powerhouse program. Rick doubled as an assistant on all of Matt's Little League teams, but never needed to push the now-Cardinals infielder.

"I grew up with guys whose dads were so pushy," Carpenter said in 2012. "For me, the love of the game was always there. I always wanted to go to the baseball field. I know for a fact that there was never a time when he said, 'Hey, let's go hit.' It never happened. It was always me."

Carpenter played at Texas Christian University, and he was a second-team All Mountain West selection in 2006, '08 and '09. The Cards selected him in the 13th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.