Yankees’ Matt Carpenter’s touching reaction to curtain call at Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK— For a moment, it looked like Matt Carpenter was getting choked up.

Advertisement

He had just been asked what it was like to receive a Bronx curtain call after struggling the past two seasons and — at times — thinking his career might have been near its end.

“That’s pretty special,” Carpenter told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on the field after a 14-1 Yankees win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Then Carpenter gathered himself.

“You never know when the last time you’re going to put this uniform is or on what day that is and I felt like I might have had that a couple of times this year. To be here, and to be playing for this team, in this city, for this franchise, I don’t take it for granted. I come to the ballpark every day overwhelmed with Joy and Gratitude and, man, it’s just been a lot of fun.”

Carpenter hit two home runs and drove in seven runs on Saturday. His season has been nothing short of Spectacular — on the field and off.

He hit a three-run shot in the first inning, and after he hammered another three-run homer in the fifth inning, the Yankee Stadium crowd chanted his name until he left the dugout to salute them.

He has hit 13 home runs in 30 games and 75 at-bats with the Yankees. He has driven in 31 runs with a 1.406 OPS.

That’s all since he was signed off the scrap heap in late May. Carpenter, 36, asked the Rangers to release him from his minor-league contract because Texas told him it didn’t see a spot for him on the major-league roster anytime soon.

And Carpenter, who had hit just .176 with seven homers over the previous two seasons, thought he was finally ready. After Texas released him, he caught on with the Yankees, and has had a huge impact.

“It’s a testament to him and wanting to squeeze everything out of his career,” manager Aaron Boone told reporters about Carpenter, who played 11 years with the Cardinals and made three All-Star teams. “Obviously, it’s a guy that’s had a really good career. If he had gone home after last season, he’s done well in this game from a contractual standpoint. Obviously, there’s something within him that loves the game and felt like there was more to get out of it.”

“He’s a big veteran presence in this clubhouse,” Aaron Judge told Fox Sports after the game. “He fit right in since Day 1. He brings energy. He brings that intensity every single day. We’re lucky to have him, that’s for sure.”

Later, Carpenter spoke in the Yankees’ clubhouse.

“I’m just so grateful to be in the clubhouse, to be in here with this group of guys who come to the ballpark every day just thrilled to be a part of this,” he said. “Thrilled to be able to play like I’m playing and the way our team’s playing on a nightly basis. It’s a lot of fun.”

Please subscribe to us now and support the local journalism YOU rely on and trust.

Brendan Kuty may be reached at [email protected].

Advertisement

What do you think?

Advertisement

How to get as much as you can

Joe Manchin is ‘intentionally sabotaging the president’s agenda’: Bernie Sanders