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40 years ago today Carew was on the cover of TIME Magazine

40 years ago Rod Carew was in the midst of his greatest season.
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Ten years before the Twins made history by winning the 1987 World Series, Rod Carew was gracing the cover of TIME Magazine.

"I don't really try to do things that I'm not capable of doing," said Carew in a 1977 feature on KMSP. "I know my capabilities and how far I can go and what I can do with a bat."

Carew, the 1977 American League MVP, finished the season hitting .388 (he was hitting over .400 at the All-Star break) with 14 homers and 100 RBI while leading the majors in hits (239), runs (128), triples (16), on-base percentage (.449), OPS (1.019), and intentional walks (15). For comparison, this year's most dangerous hitter, Yankees rookie Aaron Judge, leads the majors with a 1.081 OPS.

Time's cover story begins like this:

"Hit a baseball with a bat. Crack.

All things considered—and nothing is unconsidered in the serious business of games played by grown men—it is the most difficult task in sport. Consider the problem: a bat 2¾ in. in diameter at its widest, hitting a ball not quite 3 in. in diameter; two objects—one cylindrical, the other a sphere—meeting headon. Consider the speed: a major league pitcher's fastball traveling well over 90 m.p.h., hissing the 60-ft. 6-in. distance from mound to plate in ⅔ of a second. Consider the odds: the game's greatest stars..."

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Carew, then 31, now 71, is alive and well thanks to successful heart and kidney transplants earlier this year. He suffered a massive heart attack in 2015 and made his first trip back to Minnesota for a Twins-Angels game on July 3.

Both the Twins and Angels have retired Carew's No. 29.

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