As a teenager, Carpenter persuaded his father, whose ill health required him to leave Chicago, to move to Pensacola. There, he knew, Bill Terry ran a baseball school. For $25, Carpenter was taught the curveball and was placed with a minor league team. He worked his way to Terry’s Giants, had 11-win seasons in 1941 and 1942, and then spent three years in the military. When he returned, an injury limited his ability to play, and he retired.