When I was a kid, Rod Carew was in his prime with the Minnesota Twins. I loved the fact that Carew was a legit superstar with the Twins and then I hated when he went to the Angels.
When my friends and I went to see the Twins a couple years ago, Chuck and I ran into the Rod Carew statue outside of Target Field. It was so cool to see the familiar, distinct batting stance of Carew. It also made me think back on his career.
Carew finished with 3,053 hits, 353 stolen bases and .328 batting average. That is quite a career. What I remember most was that he always seemed to be in motion. Looking at his stats now and seeing where he ranks overall brings back those memories.
It also points out how numbers are now skewed. Carew was great. He is a Hall of Famer. Still, his numbers will pale in comparison to some of the "stars" who have followed him.
I am starting to think stats now no longer matter. I know Carew was great. Nothing can take that away. I don't need to look at lists to see how many recent players have passed him statistically.
Carew reminds me of all things good when I was a kid. I am happy that the Twins gave him a statue. I hope others who see the statue will look beyond the numbers and realize what a great player he was.
Chuck T. Gekas, me and Rod Carew in Minneapolis, MN-Summer 2011.