Sunday, November 13, 2011

RBI (45) A pair of Hall of Fame hits...

Well not just a hit, but a true hitter. While we are in an era of slugging first basemen, Hall of Famer Rod Carew was never an elite home run hitter, but he was someone you were fearful of every time he came up to bat throughout his career.

Carew was signed as an amateur free agent by the Minnesota Twins in 1964, and while he made his name with the Twins he is an Angel fan favorite. Carew's career spanned 19 seasons and saw him be one of the most dominate pure contact hitters of his era using the entire field to punish opposing pitchers.

He would finish his illustrious career with a .328 average and 3,053 hits. The magical 3,000th hit would fittingly come against Frank Viola, a member of the Twins in 1985. Despite his 1015 RBI he only had 92 Home Runs at the end of his career, but managed to hit 445 Doubles and 112 Triples for a career .429 SLG. His ability to put the ball into play and drive runners in was possible due to his great plate discipline, retiring with only 1028 Strikeouts against 1018 Walks.

While he didn't win a World Series championship, Carew's career was highlighted by his perennial appearances in the Mid Summer Classic, being an 18-time, all consecutive, All-Star. Carew also won the 1977 AL MVP award and 1967 AL Rookie of the Year Award with the Twins. In 1991 Carew was a first ballot Hall of Famer with 90.5% of the vote, and has had his #29 retired by both the Angels and Twins franchises.

Even now Carew's popularity is visible as an episode of the USA network show Psych contained a scene with a photo of Rod being joked about by the main characters.

These cards are a 1986 Topps and 1982 Fleer that I received from Tom at The Angels, In Order. I was able to get Hall of Famer Rod Carew's autograph on these cards on separate occasions at Angel Stadium through the Angels' 50th Anniversary celebration. I was actually on my way out of the door to head to the stadium when the mailman luckily pulled up with the package containing the cards or I'm not sure what I would have had Mr. Carew sign.

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