From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|First baseman / Second baseman
October 1, 1945
Gatún, Panama Canal
|April 11, 1967 for
the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
|October 5, 1985 for
the California Angels
|Runs batted in
Career highlights and awards
- 18× All-Star selection
(1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)
- 1977 AL
- 1967 AL Rookie of the
- 1977 Roberto Clemente Award
Twins #29 retired
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
|Member of the National
| Baseball Hall of Fame
|| 90.5% (first ballot)
Rodney Cline "Rod" Carew (born October 1, 1945) is a
former Major League Baseball player. A
member of the Baseball Hall of
Fame, he is renowned for his hitting prowess. Carew played for
Twins and the former California Angels from 1967 to 1985. He
threw right-handed and batted left-handed.
Carew is a Zonian and was
born to a Panamanian mother on
a train in the town of Gatún, which, at that time, was in the Panama Canal
Zone. The train was racially segregated; white passengers
were given the better forward cars, while non-whites, like Carew's
mother, were forced to ride in the rearward cars. When she went
into labor, a physician
traveling on the train, Dr. Rodney Cline, delivered the baby, who
was named Rodney Cline Carew in appreciation.
At age 14, the Carews emigrated to the United States. He lived in the Washington Heights
section of the borough of Manhattan, New York City.
Although Carew attended George
Washington High School, which current MLB star left fielder Manny Ramirez also
attended, he never played baseball for the high school team.
Instead, Carew played sandlot (semi-pro) baseball for the Bronx
Cavaliers, which is where he was discovered by Minnesota Twins'
scout Hal Keller. Carew then signed an amateur free agent contract with
Twins a day after graduating.
Three years later, he was called up and became a teammate of first
baseman Harmon Killebrew. In Panama, the
National Baseball Stadium is named after him.
Carew won the American League's Rookie of
the Year award in 1967
and was an All-Star in every
year but his final one, 1985. In his career, Carew won seven
In 1972, Carew led the American League
hitting .318, and remarkably, without hitting a single home run for the only time in
his career; Carew is to date the only player in the American League
or in the modern era to
win the batting title with no home runs hit in that year. In the 1977 season,
Carew batted .388, which at the time was the highest since Boston's Ted Williams hit .406
and won the American League's Most
Valuable Player award.
In 1975, Carew joined Ty
Cobb as the only players to lead both the American and National
Leagues in batting average for three consecutive seasons. Carew
achieved the feat in 1973, 1974, and 1975. Carew also stole home 17 times in
his career, including seven times in the 1969 season.
Originally a second baseman, Carew moved to first
base in September 1975. In 1979, frustrated by the
Twins' inability to keep young talent, and after considerable conflict with team owner Calvin
announced his intention to leave the Twins. Carew was subsequently
traded to the Angels for outfielder Ken Landreaux, catcher/first baseman Dave Engle, right-handed
pitcher Paul Hartzell, and
left-handed pitcher Brad Havens.
The Twins had been unable to complete a deal with the New York
Yankees in January 1979 in which Carew would have moved to New
York in exchange for Chris Chambliss, Juan Beniquez, Dámaso
García, and Dave
On August 4, 1985, Carew joined an elite group of
ballplayers when he got his 3,000th basehit against Minnesota Twins
Viola at the former Anaheim Stadium.
Coincidentally, Chicago White Sox right-hander Tom Seaver won his 300th career
game on the same day. The 1985 season would be his last. After
the season, Rod Carew, a free agent, received no contract offers
from other teams. Carew suspected that baseball owners were
deliberately colluding to keep him from playing.
The suspicion was justified; on January 10, 1995, nearly
a decade after his forced retirement, arbitrator Thomas Roberts
ruled that the owners had indeed violated the rules of baseball's
collusion agreement, which they had previously agreed to abide
by. Rod Carew was awarded damages equivalent to what he would have
likely received in 1986: $782,036.
Carew finished his career with 3,053 hits and a lifetime batting average
Carew was elected to the Baseball Hall of
Fame in 1991, his first year of eligibility,
the 22nd player so elected. In 1999, he ranked #61 on The Sporting News'' list of 100
Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for
Major League Baseball's All-Century
Team. Carew has also been inducted into the Hispanic Heritage
Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.
During the 1960s, Carew served a six-year commitment in the United States Marine Corps Reserves as a
Confusion over conversion
Carew has never formally converted to Judaism. However, he married a Jewish woman, Marilynn Levy,
and his children were raised in the Jewish tradition. A chief
source propagating the misconception that Carew converted to
Judaism is the 1994 song, The Chanukah Song, written and
performed by entertainer Adam Sandler, in which he lists famous Jews of the 20th
century. He names Carew thusly: "...O.J. Simpson... not a
Jew! But guess who is: Hall of Famer Rod Carew — he converted".
Sandler has reiterated this mistake in later incarnations of the
Adding to the confusion is an article written in Esquire magazine in 1976. sportswriter Harry Stein released his
"All Time All-Star Argument Starter" article which consisted of
five different baseball teams, each based on ethnicity. Carew was
erroneously named the second baseman on Stein's All-Jewish
Carew regularly attends Saddleback Church (Rick Warren, pastor,
author of The
Purpose-Driven Life), which is a Baptist church.
Carew moved to the upscale community of Anaheim Hills,
California while playing with the Angels and remained there
upon announcing his retirement.  Carew
has since worked as a hitting coach for the Angels and the Milwaukee
Brewers and is credited with helping develop young hitters like
Edmonds, and Tim
On January 19, 2004, Panama City's National Stadium was renamed
"Rod Carew Stadium". In 2005, Carew
was named the second baseman on the Major League Baseball Latino
His uniform number 29 has been retired by both the Twins and the
Carew's daughter, Michelle, was diagnosed with leukemia in September, 1995. Her
rare Panamanian-Jewish heritage dramatically lowered possibility of
finding a matching donor for a bone marrow transplant. In spite of Carew's
heartfelt pleas for those of similar ethnic background to come
forward, no matching donor was found. Michelle Carew died on April
17, 1996 at the age of 18. A statue of her has been installed in Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
In 2006, Carew became the spokesman for
the Solid Contact Baseball company,
based in New Canaan, Connecticut. The
company has developed a product it calls the "GAP Hitter", which
simulates not only fastballs, but curveballs and sliders as well. Solid Contact Baseball filed
for bankruptcy in 2009. Rod Carew is still the spokesman for the
device, which has been bought and is currently being rebranded.
Carew began using chewing tobacco in 1964 and was
a regular user up to 1992, when a cancerous growth in his mouth was discovered and
removed. The years of use had heavily damaged his teeth and gums,
and Carew has spent a reported $100,000 in restorative dental
- ^ a
Pietrusza, David; Matthew Silverman;
Gershman, Michael (2000). Baseball: The Biographical
Encyclopedia. New York: Total Sports. ISBN
"This Week In Baseball History
- Week ending 10/5", Sporting News, October 8, 2007.
Accessed June 10, 2008. "In 1958, the Carew family migrated to
America and settled in the Washington Heights section of New York
- ^ a
Charlton, James; Shatzkin, Mike;
Holtje, Stephen (1990). The Ballplayers: baseball's ultimate
biographical reference. New York: Arbor House/William Morrow.
pp. 155–156. ISBN
Stealing Home Base Records by
United Press International
(1979-01-30). "Yankees, Twins still
dickering". St. Petersburg Times. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=mBQOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QnwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6523,5452839&dq=superdome+yankees. Retrieved
McCurdie, Jim (1986-10-13). "They Have Carew's
Number". Los Angeles. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/58000349.html?dids=58000349:58000349&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Aug+13%2C+1986&author=JIM+McCURDIE&pub=Los+Angeles+Times+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&desc=They+Have+Carew's+Number&pqatl=google. Retrieved
Connor, Joe (17 January 2006). "Welcome to Panama".
ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/worldclassic2006/news/story?id=2291367. Retrieved 3 December
- ^ "Rod Carew - Baseball Hall of
Fame '91". http://www.solidcontactbaseball.com/rodcarew.html. Retrieved
^ "The Tobacco Reference Guide
by David Moyer". http://www.globalink.org/tobacco/trg/Chapter17/Chap17_SmokelessPage2.html. Retrieved