Carew cherished each one of his 18 All-Star selections

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 6:44 AM
hide

Jayden Moore, 7, listened to Rod Carew during a camp Wednesday at Minnetonka High School.

Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • eflores@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Rod Carew remembers feeling so nervous that he barely could control his legs before his first All-Star Game as a 21-year-old Twins rookie in 1967.

The game was played in Anaheim, Calif., but for Carew, it felt like fantasyland because he got to meet and spend time with his two idols, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

Carew started at second base and batted second in the lineup, but all he kept thinking was, is this really happening?

“Just wake me up because I’m dreaming,” he said.

That was the first of his 18 consecutive All-Star Game appearances — fifth most in Major League Baseball history. As the Twin Cities prepares to host the annual event, Carew stands as the perfect ambassador for the Twins, having worn their uniform in the All-Star Game in all 12 of his seasons with the organization.

The first one, he said, still ranks above the rest in his memories.

“I wasn’t expected to do well my first year and all of a sudden I’m starting at second base in the All-Star Game,” Carew said. “And to be out there and watching all those greats. Here I am, a kid, thinking about this and wondering, ‘What are you doing here?’ ”

Carew became a fixture in the All-Star Game as he developed into a Hall of Fame player and one of the greatest hitters in major league history. Only Aaron (21 seasons), Mays (20), Stan Musial (20) and Cal Ripken Jr. (19) made an All-Star team more times than Carew.

“Well, the other guys played longer than me,” Carew said, laughing.

The only season Carew didn’t make the All-Star Game came in 1985, his final season. Ironically, that game was held in Minneapolis at the Metrodome.

Injuries forced Carew to miss three All-Star Games: 1970, ’79 and ’82. In his 15 appearances — all as a starter — he batted .244 with two RBI and eight runs scored. He also stole three bases.

To appreciate the longevity of his success, consider: His first All-Star at-bat came against Juan Marichal in ’67. He faced Fernando Valenzuela in his final All-Star plate appearance in 1984. That’s two generations of pitchers.

That’s why the All-Star Game, even in his 18th trip, never became routine, Carew said.

“Because you never know when you’re going to make another one,” he said. “Every one that you make, you go and enjoy it and appreciate that fans take the time to vote for you.”

Carew experienced his share of highlights along the way. In the 1978 game, he hit triples in his first two at-bats. He heard National League third baseman Pete Rose yelling something as he slid into third on the second one.

“After I got up, I said, ‘What’s up Pete,’ ” Carew recalled. “He said, ‘Nobody’s ever hit two triples in an All-Star Game. You’re the only one.’ ”

Carew faced a few future Hall of Fame pitchers in his All-Star appearances, including Marichal, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, Don Sutton and Steve Carlton. He put Carlton at the top of list.

“I would say Steve Carlton because Lefty was nasty,” he said. “Facing him from the left side, yeah, he was nasty. Wow.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 2 FINAL
Washington 0
Pittsburgh 7 FINAL
Detroit 3
Miami 3 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Boston - WP: K. Couch 11 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Reavis 8
NY Yankees - LP: M. Tanaka 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: T. Milone 3
Tampa Bay 4 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Philadelphia 6 FINAL
Toronto 10
Chicago Cubs 15 FINAL
Texas 10
Cincinnati - WP: M. Lorenzen 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Chicago WSox 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Seattle 6 FINAL
Cleveland 8
Oakland - WP: J. Fuller 13 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: B. Loconsole 10
Texas 7 FINAL
Arizona 8
Houston 8 FINAL
Atlanta 5
Kansas City 4 FINAL
San Diego 1
Atlanta 95 FINAL
Detroit 105
Indiana 106 FINAL
Brooklyn 111
San Antonio 95 FINAL
Miami 81
Golden State 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 106
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 3
Carolina 2 FINAL
Washington 4
Florida 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Detroit 1
Tampa Bay 1 FINAL
Toronto 3
NY Rangers 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Vancouver 5 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
UT Martin 66 FINAL
Evansville 79
Miami-Florida 60 FINAL
Temple 57
NJIT 61 FINAL
Northern Ariz 68
Stanford 67 FINAL
Old Dominion 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who are you rooting for in the NCAA Final Four?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close