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Reflecting on Rod Carew, Minneapolis and Racism

  • June 30, 2020

I called Carew and found him magnanimous, as usual, and also direct about Griffith and the current protest movement against racism.

It was clear he was working through the news about Griffith. He had issued a statement recently, which read in part that he “understands and respects” the Twins’ decision to remove the Griffith statue, but he also remembers “how supportive” Griffith was to him, a young Black rookie second baseman in 1967, and beyond. Carew wrote: “In 1977, my M.V.P. year, I made $170,000. When the season was over, Calvin called me into his office, thanked me for the great season, told me that I had made the team a lot of money, and handed me a check for $100,000. Could have knocked me over. A racist wouldn’t have done that.”

Carew, however, then still uncomfortable playing in Minnesota and, presumably, for Griffith, sought a trade that landed him in 1979 with the Angels, in Southern California, where he now lives.

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