The New York Yankees have a long, illustrious history of Baseball Hall of Famers finding their way to the Bronx to help the pinstripes chase titles.
They’ve acquired Hall of Famers in every possible manner. They’ve drafted and developed them. They’ve swiped them from the Kansas City Athletics. They’ve lured them with mega-deals midway through their Cooperstown-bound careers. They’ve given them a chance to enjoy the New York stage late in their tenures for one last curtain call.
Somehow, though, New York-raised Rod Carew never ended up as one of those lucky Hall of Famers.
Carew posted plenty of impressive statistics during his near-20-year-tenure in Minnesota and Anaheim, joining the 3,000 hit club (he’s got 3,053), posting a 131 OPS+, and winning both an MVP and Rookie of the Year.
One thing he didn’t do, though, was rock the home uniform at Yankee Stadium, where he grew up and first fell in love with the game.
Carew, in a question-and-answer session on Twitter Tuesday, admitted the Yankees are the No. 1 team he wished he’d played for (though he did pretty well for himself anyway).
Clearly, Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew loves the Yankees.
That roaring crowd encountered Carew as a visitor plenty during his peak, and judging by the numbers, the emotions might have actually affected him a bit when he touched down in New York.
Typically impervious to pressure (Carew hit .311 with RISP and two outs in his career), the hitting star posted just a .264/.336/.358 triple-slash in 81 games career at Yankee Stadium. Compare that to his performance at Fenway (.337/.390/.468 in 94 games), and it’s clear Carew might’ve been a double agent during his prime.
Carew had plenty more to say about the Yankees before his Q&A session was through, heaping praise on Reggie Jackson for his splendid trash talk (especially during the ’77 season).
He also threw kudos Thurman Munson’s way, singling out the Captain as the most iconic catcher he ever spat words back and forth with.
Something tells us these two would’ve gotten along just fine.
Perhaps it’s not too late for the 76-year-old Carew to join the Bombers in some capacity?
These current Yankees could use a lesson in making contact, after all.