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After 19 Years, Carew Says He's Had Enough

June 03, 1986|From Times Wire Services

Rod Carew, seven-time American League batting champion who wasn't offered a 1986 contract by the Angels, announced his retirement Monday at his home in Anaheim Hills.

Carew, 40, thus completed a 19-year career with a .328 lifetime batting average and 3,053 hits, the 13th-highest total in baseball history.

Carew confirmed a report in Sunday's editions of The Times, saying that he had recently been offered a contract for 1986 by the San Francisco Giants but had decided against accepting the offer.

"I spoke to Mr. Rosen (Al, the Giants' general manager) and he feels I can help lead them to a division title," said Carew, flanked by his wife and three daughters, at the news conference, to which The Times, specifically, was not invited. "I made my decision (Sunday) night. Rod Carew will not be playing baseball."

Carew also said that he had received an offer in March to become the Boston Red Sox's minor league hitting instructor.

Carew said he plans to open a hitting school in two weeks and is currently coaching softball teams on which his daughters play. He also said that he will not accept a job as manager or coach and does not plan to play in any old-timers' games.

"I don't want people to see me looking bad," he said. "I want people to remember me with good skills. I don't want to relive the past."

Carew was the Angels' leading hitter for five of the seven years he played with the team, including last year when he hit .280 with 2 home runs and 39 runs batted in. He suffered a stress fracture in his left foot early in the season, however, was on the disabled list and appeared in only 127 of the Angels' 172 games.

Last Aug. 4, the left-handed-hitting Carew became the 16th player in big league history with at least 3,000 hits when he singled off Minnesota Twin left-hander Frank Viola.

Carew, a member of the Angels' only two American League West division-winning teams, in 1979 and 1982, said repeatedly last year that he wanted to play this season, then retire.

The Angels, however, decided during the off-season that they would give Carew's job at first base to rookie Wally Joyner and didn't offer Carew a contract.

Carew earned $900,000 with the Angels last year, and his high salary might have scared off potential employers, but he had said that he would play for less. No offers were forthcoming, however, until recently.

Joyner, 23, has been a huge success for the Angels. Joyner is batting .304 with 17 home runs and 43 RBIs.

Carew played his first 12 seasons with Minnesota. He had his finest season in 1977 while playing for the Twins, hitting .388 with 239 hits, 128 runs scored, 16 triples, 14 home runs and 100 runs batted in. He was selected Most Valuable Player in the American League that season.

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