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Rod Carew
#29 | First/second baseman* | Minnesota Twins

* Carew played 1,184 games at first base and 1,130 at second

     Carew played 12 seasons with the Minnesota Twins and 7 more with the California Angels.


Rodney Cline Carew 

     Born on a train in the Panama Canal Zone, Carew moved with his mother to New York at age 17.  After signing with the Twins a day out of high school in 1964, he played three minor league seasons before jumping from Class C to the majors in 1967.  He got his first ML hit on Opening Day off Baltimore's Dave McNally; 18 years later, on August 4, 1985, with California, Carew singled off Minnesota's Frank Viola to become the 16th player to attain 3,000 hits.

     A wizard with the bat, Rod Carew lined, chopped and bunted his way to 3,053 hits and a lifetime career batting average of .328.  His seven batting titles are surpassed only by Ty Cobb, Tony Gwynn and Honus Wagner and equaled only by Rogers Hornsby and Stan Musial.  Carew won his batting championships by consistently larger margins than anyone except Hornsby - in his MVP 1977 season, Carew's .388 was 50 points higher than the next-best average in ML baseball, Dave Parker's NL-leading .338.  This was the largest margin in ML history.

 

     Always a base-stealing threat, Carew tied a ML record with seven steals of home in 1969, and amassed 348 career stolen bases. On May 18, 1969, he stole three bases in one inning. He led the league three times in base hits and once in runs scored, and led once and tied once in triples. He recorded 200 hits four times, and his 239 hits in 1977 was the highest total in the majors in 47 years. His 128 runs scored in '77 was the highest since 1961. Carew hit for the cycle in 1970, connected for five hits in a single game five times, and is 12th on the all-time hit list. His .339 average in 1983 set an Angels record, and he holds Twins season records for runs, hits, singles, triples, stolen bases, and batting average.

 

     He used a variety of relaxed, crouched batting stances to hit over .300 15 consecutive seasons with the Twins and Angels.  He was honored as American League Rookie of the Year in 1967 and as its MVP 10 years later.  Carew was named to 17 straight All-Star teams, and is a national hero in Panama.

 

 

"Carew had great hand action, probably as good as anyone who ever swung a bat. He always used the entire field. Because he could bunt so well, he brought the third baseman in close. He made the defense come to him instead of the other way around. He had a great sense of the strike zone, never chasing a bad ball, and had no fear at the plate."

Bill Rigney, one of Carew's managers

 

 


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