On Tuesday, ONEOK Field played host to The Tulsa Sports Charities monthly luncheon. Bob Carpenter, Tulsa resident and television play-by-play announcer for the Washington Nationals, served as the event's keynote speaker.
In his address, Carpenter spoke on a variety of topics drawn from his experiences in professional baseball. Even the most conservative fans in attendance Tuesday left the stadium feeling excited and ready for the upcoming season.
Carpenter, 59, who has also worked for the Cardinals, Rangers, Mets, and Twins, actually began his career in baseball in Tulsa. A. Ray Smith, longtime owner of the Tulsa Oilers franchise, first noticed his talent in 1976.
According to Carpenter, Smith put his inexperienced voice on-air for an impromptu audition the day he interviewed with the club. Despite his nerves, Carpenter's skills apparently impressed Smith, as the Oilers owner offered him his first job in baseball, an unpaid broadcasting position with the Triple A club.
The TV voice of the Nationals also spoke at length of his time in St. Louis, working close to the likes of Lou Brock and Bob Gibson, calling games with Ozzie Smith, and visiting with the legendary Stan Musial. Carpenter said Musial actually recognized him when they first met, decades after the Hall of Famer retired, exclaiming, "Carp, I watch you on TV every night!" Carpenter holds this as one of his fondest memories.
Other highlights from Carpenter's address included, a preview of the 2013 season, a hysterical baseball story about legendary former Oklahoma State basketball coach Eddie Sutton (who was in attendance), and a short Q&A session with attendees.
Before concluding the luncheon, Carpenter spent a few minutes previewing the 2013 Washington Nationals. During this preview, he mentioned that Stephen Strasburg's innings would not be limited this season, spoke on the club's three key additions from the offseason (SP Dan Haren, RP Rafael Soriano, and OF Denard Span), and that Bryce Harper is a fantastic talent who "plays like Pete Rose."
Following the TSC Luncheon Tuesday, Carpenter left Tulsa for Viera, FL, where he will be on-air February 28 for the Nationals' first televised game of the spring.