Rod Carew: 'Baseball was the one thing that kept me from killing my father'

"I knew I had something I could turn to to get away from him and that was baseball."
Author:
Publish date:
Rod Carew

Former Minnesota Twins second baseman Rod Carew detailed his relationship with his abusive father during an interview on KFAN's "Bumper to Bumper Show" with Dan Barreiro on Friday.

Carew, who recently authored an autobiography called "One Tough Out," said he and his mother were beaten by his father when he was a child growing up in Panama, and the abuse got to the point that the Hall of Famer once came close to killing him when he came home drunk. 

"I said to myself 'now is my chance,'" Carew recalled. "I went out and got my machete and I was standing over him and was about to raise [the machete] and my mom came busting in and said, 'No, you can't do that! Remember baseball!' So I backed off. I was just tired that nobody was doing anything to help us."

Instead, Carew turned to baseball, which helped him forge the Hall of Fame career that saw him rise to superstardom with the Twins and California Angels. But it also served as an escape from what was going on at home.

"It kind of made me stronger as a kid," Carew said. "Because I knew I had something that I could turn to to get away from him and that was baseball."

That path led him to Minnesota where he would become a 12-time All-Star, seven-time batting champion and 1977 American League Most Valuable Player. But his biggest memory about his time in Minnesota was how it helped him grow as a person.

"I came in there as a hot-headed 20-year-old kid that wanted to fight everybody because of my upbringing," Carew said. "People saw me grow and they saw when I left there, I left there as a man."

You can listen back to the interview with Carew here, and it begins at the 19:40 mark. 

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.

PennyMomentos

How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.

Drywall

Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.

ambulance

4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.

20201107_vivir-1151-Edit

Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.

MasklessJudgesinWiscoyTownship

At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said

Related

Rod Carew's new heart came from a former NFL player

The heart belonged to former NFL tight end Konrad Reuland.

Rod Carew's new heart came from a former NFL player

The heart belonged to former NFL tight end Konrad Reuland.

Nelson Cruz

How will baseball's rule changes impact the 2020 Twins?

With plenty of unique changes, baseball will look much different this year.

Rod Carew gets the heart transplant he's been waiting for

Nealry 15 months after suffering a major heart attack, Rod Carew received the call he was waiting for Wednesday night.

Rod Carew gets the heart transplant he's been waiting for

Nealry 15 months after suffering a major heart attack, Rod Carew received the call he was waiting for Wednesday night.

Hall of Famer Rod Carew returns to Target Field in July

It's his first visit to Minneapolis since undergoing a heart transplant in December.

Hall of Famer Rod Carew returns to Target Field in July

It's his first visit to Minneapolis since undergoing a heart transplant in December.

An update on Rod Carew after his heart and kidney transplant

Twins Hall of Famer Rod Carew underwent a 13-hour procedure for a new heart and kidney.