Interview with University of Missouri freshman, Liam Carter
To be published in The Highland Park Landmark “Going Places” column, July 6th, 2014.
“My pitching was pretty mediocre—nothing to turn any scout’s head.” After suffering a sprained UCL, a stress fracture in his throwing arm and bone inflammation, Liam Carter thought his dreams of a career as a star pitcher on the baseball team were over.
Standing at 6 ft. 7in., the lanky athlete says that his early injuries weren’t the only setbacks he encountered during his career at Highland Park High School. With a tremendous growth spurt of nearly half a foot over the course of his time there, Carter says that getting used to his build took a lot of patience—especially when it came to pitching. The mechanics of his throw had changed and deteriorated during his rapid growth and would need a very committed effort to be restored.
Fortunately, the injuries, long recovery times and physical changes only fueled Carter’s passion for baseball and his drive to succeed. To get back on track after his injuries ended his sophomore season, Carter hit the field hard. He put in countless hours getting back to throwing nearly 90 MPH, making countless adjustments to be the best athlete he could.
“I’ll never waste a single pitch. I always give 100%”. His persistence paid off. Nearing the end of his senior year, Carter had caught the attention of the University of Missouri, a Division 1 school for baseball. After a call from his coach and a meeting with the Mizzou scouts, Carter had an offer.
His success continued when he finished out his senior season with 48.1 innings pitched, 11 games pitched, 4 wins, 1 loss, 38 hits given up, 18 runs given up, 15 earned runs given up, 15 walks, 76 strikeouts, 2.172 ERA, and 1.097 WHIP.
Since graduating from Highland Park High School earlier this spring, Carter is thrilled to be immersed in an intensive 8-week summer baseball training program, in which only one other incoming ‘Mizzou’ freshman is participating. “It’s pretty intense, but definitely worth it,” says Carter. When he’s not spending hours conditioning and doing pre-season drills, Carter is also taking a summer class and holding down a part-time job before starting Mechanical Engineering classes in the fall.
Far from overwhelmed, Carter says the only thing he’s nervous about is “the very first game; the first inning. After that, you just get used to it.”
And what happens after the first game jitters are gone? He plans to work towards his goal of one day earning a spot as a starter—for now, at least. Getting drafted to a MLB team would be a dream come true, but Carter remains humble, and more driven than ever. “I’m one of the most competitive people you will ever meet…you just have to take that competitive drive and turn it into a reality.”