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Rodney Carew, one of the top hitters in the history of major-league baseball, did not play high school baseball.

Carew was born in Panama before moving with his family to Brooklyn, N.Y., as a 14-year old. In 1964, at the age of 18, he was playing baseball for a semi-pro team when Minnesota Twins scout Herb Stein saw him. On Stein's recommendation, the Twins signed the 18-year old Carew as an amateur free agent and he made his professional debut that year.

After three seasons in the minor leagues, Carew joined the Twins in 1967 and became their starting second baseman. He batted .292 with 51 RBI, earning an All-Star Game selection and winning the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award.

The next season, Carew batted .273 — the last time he would hit less than .300 for 15 years.

Carew won his first of seven American League batting titles in 1969, when he hit .332 and helped the Twins win the A.L. West Division title. His seven steals of home in 1969 is a single-season total surpassed only by Ty Cobb.

In 1970, the Twins repeated as division champions. Carew was batting .366 in 51 games before being sidelined for three months with a knee injury.

After hitting .307 in 1971, Carew won four conesecutive batting titles – missing a fifth in 1976 by .002. In 1977, Carew had his best season — hitting .388 with 239 hits, 128 runs scored, 100 RBI. After the season he won the AL Most Valuable Player Award.

Carew hit .333 in 1978 to win his seventh and final batting crown, then was traded to the California Angels prior to the 1979 season. In seven years in California, Carew — who moved to first base in 1976 — helped the Angels win their first two A.L. West titles in 1979 and 1982.

Carew retired following the 1985 season. During his final season, he became the 16th player in major-league history to surpass 3,000 career hits. In his 19 major-league seasons, he was an All-Star 18 times (all but his final season in the majors). He finished his career with 3,053 hits and a career batting average of .328.

His uniform number (#29) has been retired by both the Twins and Angels and he is a member of each team's Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. He was the 27th player elected to the Hall in his first year of eligibility.

Following his playing career he served as a coach with the Angels and Milwaukee Brewers.


Class: 2006.

Sport: Baseball.

Teams: Minnesota Twins, California Angels.