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Rod Carew's 3,000th Hit

None of us were fortunate enough to watch Michelangelo paint, or watch Hemingway write. But many of us were able to watch Rod Carew hit.

For Carew, hitting was his art, and he put the finishing touches on his masterpiece August 4, 1985. Against his former team, the Minnesota Twins, Carew got hit No. 3,000 in typical Carew fashion - going to the opposite field. With that hit off pitcher Frank Viola, Carew became only the 16th player at the time to join the 3,000 hit club.

A seven-time batting champion, Carew was destined for the Hall of Fame.

"He threw me a tough pitch (a slider down and away)," Carew said. "If I hadn't stayed with that pitch and taken it, I would have been called out on a third strike. Fortunately, I was able to get the bat on the ball and place it it left field."

Carew played seven years of his 19-year major league career with the Angels and was part of two of the franchise's three division titles. He finished with a .328 career batting average and was named to the All-Star team a remarkable 18 times. The 1977 A.L. MVP was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991 and took over as the club's hitting coach in 1992, serving in that capacity for eight seasons.

"When you have played the game for years and you go out every day and work hard at it and you have been consistent, you start to expect good things from yourself through your work habits," Carew said. "I really felt because of my work habits and because I put a lot into it, I was able to accomplish a lot of things, especially getting the 3,000 hits."

No. 3,000 came at home in Anaheim, and it was even more special that it came against his former team. "It was kind of nice because quite a few of my friends were still back in the Twin Cities - my wife's relatives still lived in the Twin Cities," Carew said. "It was nice for them to see my accomplish something like that, especially playing against the Twins because I spent 14 years in their organization."

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