VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals infielder Jamey Carroll celebrated his 40th birthday on Tuesday. He spent most of the day practicing with the position players at Space Coast Stadium.
After signing a Minor League contract last month, Carroll wants to show that he has something left in the tank. As far as Carroll is concerned, last season -- when he hit a combined .211 with 11 RBIs for the Twins and Royals --was a fluke.
"I want to show the team and myself that last year was just last year," Carroll said. "But I can still play and feel I can contribute. I want to help the ballclub out."
It seemed like yesterday when Carroll entered the Major Leagues as a member of the Montreal Expos. It was Sept. 11, 2002, when then-general manager Omar Minaya and then-manager Frank Robinson decided that Carroll would be a September callup. Before that day, it seemed Carroll would be a career Minor Leaguer. They decided to promote Carroll because he lived close to Chicago and they needed his services that day. The other player, Ron Calloway, was living in California and he wouldn't have been in Chicago in time.
In total, Carroll has played for the Expos/Nationals, Rockies, Indians, Dodgers, Twins and Royals. In 12 big league seasons, Carroll has a .272 career batting average with 13 home runs and 265 RBIs in 1,276 games.
"I was given a chance at 28, thinking, 'Man, if I play 10 years, I will be 38,'" Carroll said. "Getting a chance to put a uniform on at 40, it's fun. It became a goal the last few years. I wanted to keep going if I could. I feel good enough."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.