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Rod Carew – 1974 Topps #50

Rodney Cline “Rod” Carew (born October 1, 1945) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman, second baseman and coach. He played from 1967 to 1985 for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels and was elected to the All-Star game every season except his last. In 1991, Carew was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. While Carew was never a home run threat (hitting fewer than 100 career home runs), he made a career out of being a consistent contact hitter. 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 GatĂșn, 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. When Carew was age 14, he and his family 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 former MLB star Manny Ramirez also attended, he never played baseball for the high school team. Instead, Carew played semi-pro baseball for the Bronx Cavaliers, which is where he was discovered by Minnesota Twins’ scout, Monroe Katz (whose son, Steve, played with Carew on the Cavaliers). Katz then recommended Carew to another Twins’ scout, Herb Stein, who signed Carew to an amateur free agent contract (at the Stella D’Oro Restaurant in the Bronx) on June 24, 1964.

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