Robert Ruliph Morgan "Ruly" Carpenter III (born 1940) was the principal owner and president of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1972 to 1981.
Carpenter was born in Wilmington, Delaware. He was three years old when his grandfather, R. R. M. Carpenter Sr., bought the Phillies in 1943 and gave control of the team to his father, Bob. He graduated from Yale University in 1962 where he earned two varsity football letters, and joined his father in the Phillies' front office in 1963. In 1965, he suggested that his father hire Paul Owens, a young scout, as farm system director. Owens would eventually become general manager in 1972.
Ruly became team president at 32, when his father stepped down in the 1972 season. His tenure as owner was, statistically speaking, one of the most (if not the most) successful in franchise history. From 1976 to 1980, the Phillies won their division in every season but one, including the team's first World Series win in 1980. They also won the first half National League East title in the strike-shortened 1981 season.
Soon after the World Series triumph, however, Carpenter decided to sell the team. With the advent of free agency, salaries were already starting to spiral upward, and he believed that even with his considerable wealth he needed to take on minority investors in order to stay afloat. Unwilling to have to get permission from partners in order to make major decisions, he sold the Phillies to a group headed by longtime Phillies executive Bill Giles for $32.5 million in 1981. By comparison, his grandfather had bought the team in 1943 for $400,000.
Carpenter still lives in Wilmington. He is a longtime member of the University of Delaware Board of Trustees; his family has supported the school for many years. He is still an avid Phillies fan, and closely followed the team's run to its second world title in 2008. He was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
- Kram, Mark. "Ruly Carpenter ran Phillies when they won 1980 World Series". Philadelphia Daily News, 2008-10-20.
- University of Delaware Public Relations. "R.R.M. Carpenter III: Portrait of 'the Consummate Volunteer'" The Messenger, January 1996.
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