Now 74, Carew sounded strong. A few years ago, he went through a heart transplant and a kidney transplant — both at the same time. “I’ve recuperated, been given a clean bill of health,” he said, “and I’m feeling great.” This year, he published a memoir, “One Tough Out: Fighting Off Life’s Curveballs.”
Like most of the country, he has been deeply troubled by the racial tragedies regarding white police officers and Black men that have been recorded. He has lived through discrimination both in his native Panama and in the United States, but maintains a cautiously optimistic outlook.
“It’s a way of life, but I do think things will change, at least somewhat,” he said. “Almost everyone has a camera on their cellphones. Now, cops are being watched like never before. I personally haven’t had any run-ins with police in recent years, but I’m still aware that you have to be careful.”
He learned that lesson a long time ago.
When I helped Carew write his autobiography, “Carew,” which was published in 1979, he told me then, “I’ve also been hassled by white cops when they’ve seen me driving a nice car,” adding, “They think you’ve got to be a pimp.” He recalled one particular instance which he told me was a specific that characterized the general.