Early Interest In Bowling
Working at the bowling alley peaked Carter's interest in bowling. To become good at the sport, he built a lane in the basement of his home so he could practice. But bowling was not his only sport. At Wellston High School, he was a star athlete in baseball (four varsity letters) and football (three letters).
When Carter graduated from high school in 1944, World War II was still being fought. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduation. Carter served as a radarman, working on a military vessel. By the time he was discharged in 1946, Carter had reached the rank of third-class petty officer.
After his stint in the Navy ended, Carter did not turn to bowling right away, but became a professional baseball player first. In 1947, he signed a contract with the Philadelphia Athletics in the American League. Carter was assigned to their Class D farm team in Red Springs, North Carolina.
Carter had a short-lived career in the minor leagues. He played both pitcher and infielder at Red Springs. He had a .302 batting average while playing infield, but had a poor record as a pitcher. Carter decided that he would not make it as a major league baseball player and asked for his release after the season ended.