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Rod
Carew

Rod Carew is considered among the best players to ever wear a Minnesota Twins uniform.  In 1967 he was named the American League "Rookie of the Year" as the Twins made a drive for the AL pennant before being nosed out by the Boston Red Sox on the last day of the season. 

Rod was born in Panama on October 5, 1945 and at the age of 14, he and his family immigrated to the U.S. and setteled in New York City.  He never played baseball for the high school team.  Instead, he played semi-pro ball for the Bronx Cavaliers where he was discovered by Twins scout, Monroe Katz.  The Twins signed him to a free agent contract on June 24, 1964.  After a few years in the Twins minor league system, he made his MLB debut at second base on April 11, 1967.

Rod was elected to the first of 18 consecutive All-Star game appearances in his rookie year.  Carew stole home seven times in the 1969 season to lead the majors, just missing Ty Cobb's MLB record of 8.  In 1972 he led the American League in hitting with a .318 batting average.  In 1975 he won his fourth consecutive AL batting title, and joined Cobb as the only players to lead the major leagues in hitting for three consecutive seasons.  In the the 1977 season, he hit for a .388 average, which was the highest since Boston's Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.  That season his performance was recognized by his being named as the American League's Most Valuable Player.  He finished in the top 15 in AL MVP voting in every season between 1972 and 1976.

In 1979, Rod was traded to the California Angels for outfielder Ken Landreaux, catcher/first baseman Dave Engle, right-handed pitcher Paul Hartzell and left-handed pitcher Brad Havens. 

The Twins retired his number "29" on July 19, 1987.  His number was also retired by the California Angels in 1986 and he was the 4th inductee into the Angels Hall of Fame in 1991.  In 1991, Rod joined good friend and former teammate, Harmon Killebrew as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility-the 22nd player so elected.  In 1999 he ranked #61 on the Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was also nominated as a finalist for Major League Baseball's All-Century Team.  Rod was also proud to be inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame in 2010. 

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