Carew named Angels Hometown Hero

Carew named Angels Hometown Hero

ANAHEIM -- Rod Carew provided one of the greatest moments in Angels' lore when he slapped an opposite field single for his 3,000th hit. Angels fans have shown they have not forgotten.

Carew was elected as the Angels' Hometown Hero, as announced on Sunday evening. In its first season, the award is presented by DHL and celebrates one player from each franchise, either past or present, whose combination of on-field performance, character and leadership make him rise above all others.

The 18-time All-Star hit .314 during his Angels career, easily the best mark in franchise history, as is his .393 on-base percentage. Carew, who played seven years with the Angels after 12 with the Twins, hit better than .300 in 15 straight seasons.

His induction into the Hall of Fame came in 1991, Carew's first year on the ballot.

Carew used his left-handed, slap-hitting brand of baseball to rack up 3,053 hits during his career, putting him 21st on the all-time list. He led the American League in batting on four occasions, with his best season a .388 clip in 1977.

The native of Panama became a national hero in his home country. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 15, living as a teenager in New York City. He was one of the first few Latin American players to play in the Majors, paving the way for future Angels stars such as Vladimir Guerrero and Bartolo Colon to play in America.

Carew helped take the Angels to a place they had never been before -- the postseason. He appeared with the Angels in the playoffs twice, ALCS appearances in 1979 and 1982.

His No. 29 has been retired by both the Angels and Twins.

Carew, who was a hitting coach for the Angels for eight seasons, is currently involved in the Twins organization, though he still has an active role in the Orange County community. He has hosted a children's cancer golf classic the past 11 years at Coto de Gaza Golf Club. The event is an honor to his daughter, Michelle, who died after a lengthy battle with leukemia in 1996.

The other Angels nominees were Jim Abbott, Don Baylor, Chuck Finley and retiring fan-favorite Tim Salmon.

Nearly 17 million votes were cast over a two-month period in selecting a Hometown Hero for each of the 30 Major League clubs.

Greg Wagner is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.