I saw him play in person more than any player in the top 100. From 11 on I grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota. My Dad was stationed at the Air Base there in 1970 and he retired and stayed there in 1972. We would normally go to the Twin Cities once a year, catch one or two (if I was lucky) Twins games and do some other tourist things, which I don’t remember as many details. I do remember visiting the new zoo when it opened in detail. Mostly I remember the ball games.
Rod Carew was the best played for the team at the time. He always played a good game for us except once we went to a doubleheader against the A’s where he went 1 for 8. In 1977, Carew’s great MVP year we saw him play one game live. He was fighting an injury so only pinch hit during the game. He drew a walk.
However, my favorite game of his took place not long before that on June 26, 1977. The White Sox and the Twins were tied for first and playing a game in Minnesota. It was on a Sunday afternoon and my Dad and I were washing the car and listening to the game on the radio. The Twins won 19-12. Rod Carew went 4 for 5 with a walk, scored 5 runs and drove in six. Glen Adams a mediocre player also went 4 for 5. He drove 8 RBIs and scored 1 run. They were the hitting heroes of the day. Carew went from .396 to .403 that day. In his last at bat in the eighth he got a standing ovation before he batted. He then hit a two-run home run to make the score 19-10. My Dad could hear the roar of the crowd on the radio. There were 46,463 fans at the game that day which was quite a crowd for the Twins. My Dad and I had finished washing the car much earlier, but then little stuff on the work bench in the garage because we didn’t want to jinx the game watching on TV. A great time of Father-Son bonding.
The Twins faded and finished fourth that year, but it doesn’t diminish that afternoon.