Carson Fulmer is a pitcher for the Charlotte Knights who has spent time with the Chicago White Sox (the Knights are the AAA affiliate for the Sox).
Fulmer was selected in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft (No. 8 pick) by the Sox and made his major league debut in 2016.
Prior to his professional career, he led Vanderbilt to the 2014 College World Series title. Here’s how Carson works.
(1) What’s a typical day like for you during baseball season?
I don’t sleep very well. I’m up pretty early.
I’m a big coffee guy, so I’ll start the day off with grabbing a cup of coffee. I go to Rhino Market daily.
I get to the field around 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m. and try to get a workout and a good stretch in and stick to my physical routine. Then I stretch usually around 3:30 p.m. or so, BP, game, then head to bed probably around midnight-ish.
It’s pretty consistent.
Then I wake up probably around 6 a.m. or so.
(2) Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I’m not superstitious. I’m a big shoe guy. I love my spikes, love my sneakers, and take a lot of pride in making sure they’re clean.
That’s probably my only superstition.
(3) How do you pass the time on the road?
I love golf. Some of us on the team will get out and play on the road. It’s just another sport that can be competitive, and it’s completely different than what I do for a living. It gets you out on the course, the place is peaceful, you can relax and go out with your boys.
Besides that, I love my teammates. I love spending time with them. When we’re on the road, we’ll go out and explore the city. We’re a pretty close group so we like spending time together.
(4) Playing pro baseball seems like it’s filled with high highs and low lows. How do you stay positive during tough moments?
I don’t want to sound too cliche, but I try never to get too high or too low. Life’s too short to worry about small things or even major things. At the end of the day, most of the time they all work themselves out.
And you know, I love what I do for a living. I love the people that I’m around. I’m very fortunate to have had a lot of experiences, both academically and athletically. And life’s been a blessing, that’s for sure. I’m enjoying every second.
(5) How do you handle people who talk smack to you on social media after a tough game?
There’s quite a few of them! (laughs). Hey, everybody has their own opinion. You know, they have the right to do that.
I’ve had some bumps in the road, and I’ve had a lot of success as well. It’s comical sometimes. I just know that every time I go out there, I try to do my best.
(6) What are some of your favorite cities to play baseball in?
Charlotte’s obviously a best-case scenario for all of us. It’s beautiful. In a big league city, besides Chicago, it’s Seattle.
I’m from Florida originally, so it’s a nice change of scenery.
(7) What did you do with the first paycheck you received as a professional athlete?
I saved it. My wife and I just bought a house about three months ago so it’s been a while, but we wanted to make sure that the purchase paid some dividends.
(8) How many people manage the business side of your career?
I have a few agents. I’ve had them since high school. Family friends. They’re guys I trust.
There’s a lot of stuff we do day in and day out that can be pretty distracting, and they do a great job of being able to take care of that so I don’t have to worry about it. You definitely need those guys.
(9) What’s the best thing about playing in the minors?
I personally like the bus time with my teammates. You’re around guys that you’ve played with or against in college and high school. I have a lot of friends on a lot of different teams too, and one of my college teammates is on our team right now, actually.
You play with each other throughout the minor leagues, and when you get to the big leagues you still have that relationship. And I think that’s definitely what makes teams grow strong.
(10) What’s the worst thing about playing in the minors?
We have to take the first flight out usually. But I’m up early so that’s not too big of an issue.
(11) Besides the money, what’s the biggest major league perk?
The travel, the hotel, the food, everything’s first class. The organization does a really good job of making sure they take care of their players. And you just try to soak it in as much as you can.
(12) Has your social life changed now that you’re a professional athlete? Do you have “friends” or long-lost cousins trying to re-connect?
I have a pretty close inner circle. I’m pretty good about getting back to people. I take a lot of pride in that.
But the fans are a big part of what we do. Being able to interact with them, in terms of just saying hi to them or doing community service, that’s something I take to heart.
You won’t really find me giving the cold shoulder to anybody.
(13) What baseball player, past or present, would leave you starstruck?
Jake Peavy. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with him maybe once. But yeah, he’s up there for me. He played the game the right way. He played with us for a while and some teammates I have now have played with him in the past, so I’ve been trying to develop a relationship with him.
He’s by far my favorite player of all time.
(14) Besides baseball, what everyday thing are you really good at?
I was a black belt in Taekwondo.
(15) What’s one skill they don’t teach you in high school that they should?
Paying bills, budgeting, writing checks.
You find a lot of guys that don’t really understand that. A lot of life lessons that you learn once you get on your own, and I was very fortunate to have a family that helped me with a lot of that. But they need a reality class or something.
(16) What’s a situation that makes you intimidated or nervous and how do you prepare?
I would say heights, but I get used to them once I’m up there. Life’s too short to be intimidated by things.
(17) With your job, you can end up moving around a lot. How do you quickly get acclimated to a new city?
I just go out and explore and talk to people.
I love riding the scooters that are around here.
Just hopping on one of those and seeing what the city has to offer.
(18) Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’d like to tell Agenda readers?
Don’t be afraid to say hi. I think people can get intimidated by us with the status we have. But we’re just normal people that play baseball and are very fortunate to have this as a job. I love speaking to people and getting to know them. You never know who you’re going to run into.
I really enjoy when people say hello.
Love learning how people work? Here’s the whole How I Work series including interviews with Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, Governor Roy Cooper, developer David Furman, elevator lady Cherie Berry, lawyer Michael A. DeMayo and Yafo, Midwood, Paco’s and Mama’s restauranteur Frank Scibelli.