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Texas Rangers rookie Evan Carter talks peace, passion & purpose after World Series win

Texas Rangers rookie Evan Carter talks peace, passion & purpose after World Series win
Texas Rangers rookie Evan Carter talks peace, passion & purpose after World Series win 07:49

Back in early September, the Rangers 2023 playoff hopes were circling the drain. The team had fallen to third place in the American League West after being swept three games at home by the first place Astros by a combined score of 39-10.

That's when, out of desperation, first year Rangers GM Chris Young called up 21-year-old Evan Carter from the minor leagues.

Evan Carter
Texas Rangers' Evan Carter, center, is congratulated for his two-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the ninth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif. Jae C. Hong / AP

What a genius general manager move!

"I was the one holding off," Young said. "I thought it would be a little unfair to Evan to call him up with the team struggling so much. If he didn't do well, was that going to put too much pressure on Evan?"

Did Evan Carter ever do well! In 23 regular season games, he hit .306 with five home runs and 10 extra base hits.

In the playoffs, he hit .300 with a major league record nine postseason doubles while hitting third in the batting order in the World Series.

"Unbelievable. At 21, I couldn't cook a meal," said 33-year-old veteran journeyman Travis Jankowski. "He's going out there in a World Series with a month of service time under his belt and helping us win games. That shows you the type of player he is. He's going to make a name for himself in this game for sure."

"I don't think I've seen anyone like Evan," said Rangers third base coach Tony Beasley, who has spent 35 years in professional baseball. "To be so disciplined at a young age and to have his life in order at such a young age, and to be able to let that translate on the baseball field."

Just as impressive as his play on the field was how Evan Carter handled the potential distractions off the field. Showing maturity beyond his years, Evan was even the choice of the Rangers media relations department to handle many of the pre-game press conferences during the playoffs.

"Evan has a slow heartbeat in all situations," Beasley said, "And there's no scenario that he's been put in thus far that he hasn't answered the call."

Evan Carter believes his inner peace comes from keeping things in perspective.

Evan Carter
Evan Carter chats with CBS News Texas' Bill Jones at spring training in Surprise, Arizona. Peter Hull/CBS News Texas

"Everything in life is bigger than baseball," he said, "I'm getting to play a game that I love for a job. It doesn't get much better than that. Where's the pressure? There shouldn't be any. You should be out there having fun, playing with your friends, playing for your teammates. No matter the stage, it doesn't change.

"That doesn't take away from me wanting to win. I always want to win, and I always want to be the best that I can be. But at the same time there are more important things going on in your life with family and faith."

Evan Carter doesn't just speak about his faith. He wears it on his T-shirt. The "Jesus Won" T-shirt he wore all season became a phenomenon during the Rangers postseason run. It turned into an outreach project for his hometown of Elizabethton, Tennessee.

"Gosh, my wife (Kaylen) came up with that," he said. "It's still going on. We've raised over $100,000 and that's straight from T-shirt sales. We're getting to help my local church, helping kids get meals and providing clothes and toys at holidays. We got to help the FCA. We helped to build a batting facility at our high school that the whole county will get to use. It's been a really good thing."

Another really good thing in Elizabethton came in November when the town of 14,000 celebrated their World Series hero on "Evan Carter Day".

"Oh gosh. It was really cool just to see people I grew up with, people who had supported me," he said.

But Evan Carter is not the most famous athlete who's come out of Elizabethton. That honor belongs to former Dallas Cowboy 11-time Pro Bowler Jason Witten.

Evan Carter says he met Witten a long time ago when he was inducted into the Elizabethton High School Hall of Fame, alongside Evan's father, Jason Carter.

The connection between Witten and Evan Carter doesn't stop there. Witten says Jason Carter played football at Elizabethton High School for Dave Rider, the former Cowboy's grandfather. And, before focusing on baseball, Evan Carter played football for Elizabethton Head Coach Shawn Witten, Jason's brother.

"I'm pulling for him," Witten said. "Great player, but what's even more special is everything I hear about him, he's just a first class person as well."

You have a feeling that some day Evan Carter will be joining his dad and Witten in the hometown hall of fame. Evan Carter was a pitcher and outfielder for the Class 2A State Semifinalist Elizabethton Fighting Cyclones five years ago.

Evan Carter is cut from the same cloth as Witten, who made his Cowboys debut at age 21, playing 16 years in Dallas and earning NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year honors in 2013 for his work in the community.

Evan Carter is already investing in the North Texas community. Before departing for spring training, he conducted a youth baseball camp at Fort Worth Christian School and spoke about his faith in front of over 2,000 men at Prestonwood Baptist Church in January.

Texas Rangers Victory Parade
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 03: Evan Carter #32 of the Texas Rangers lifts the Commissioner's Trophy during the World Series Championship celebration at Globe Life Field on November 03, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. Sam Hodde / Getty Images

Evan Carter said, "I was probably more nervous talking in front of them than I was actually playing."

"Number one, he has his life in order," Beasley said. "He's one of those guys as well that professes his faith publicly. He's a believer and I just think there's a foundation there that he knows exactly who he is."

Evan Carter explains, "When God puts a passion on your heart, to be able to use that passion to spread what you believe in. That's what it's all about. Especially with the playoffs, there wasn't a bigger platform in sports at that moment, and I was just super thankful that I got to share."

At the tender age of 21, Evan Carter made the most of his first major league moments, and Rangers fans are super thankful for that.

He now embarks on a blossoming big league career that appears to have no limit, so, what does he do for an encore in 2024?

"We've got to do it again. It's a rare thing to do it again, but everybody looked at us last year and said, 'Well, there's no way.' So, why not do it again?" 

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