Angels Hall of Famer Rod Carew wins Bob Feller Act of Valor Award
By David Rice
Hall of Famer Rod Carew, who spent seven years with the Angels and also served for eight seasons as a coach was honored this week by Major League Baseball with the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award.
The award that Rod Carew takes home recognizes one current and one hall of famer each year for a player who possesses values, integrity, and dedication. Carew won the award for his service in the U.S. Marine Corps reserves while he was playing baseball. Additionally this past year Carew founded the Heart of 29 that encourages people to get their hearts checked with regularity and helps raise awareness for heart health.
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Carew suffered a heart attack last fall while playing golf by himself. He has since been very vocal about what happened to him and how happy he is to be alive. Carew was honored earlier this year at the MLB All-Star Game along with Tony Gwynn (posthumously) by having the AL Batting Title, which Carew won seven times, renamed the Rod Carew American League Batting Champion.
This Bob Feller Award which Carew won was named after hall of fame pitcher Bob Feller for his service in World War II. Feller enlisted within days of the Pearl Harbor Invasion into the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy Feller earned the rank of Chief Petty Officer while serving in the both the Pacific and the North Atlantic.
Feller sacrificed the part of the prime years of his career (23-25 years old) to do so, but still finished with 266 wins, a 3.25 ERA and 2,581 strikeouts. If Feller would have pitched those three years he would almost assuredly been both a 300 game winner and would have reached 3,000 strikeouts. Feller made the AL All-Star team eight times, including seven times in a row disrupted by his three year military stint. Feller always claimed his greatest victory was not on the mound, but instead in helping the U.S. and its allies win the war.
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Carew has been very special within the Angels family over the years and was always a fan favorite. While playing for the Angels Carew helped lead the team to its first two division titles in 1979 and 1982. In addition he also recorded his 3,000th career hit on August 4th, 1985 in the third inning of the Angels game against the Minnesota Twins, Carew’s first team. Carew recorded his milestone off of Twins lefty Frank Viola on an opposite-field single to left. Angels manager Gene Mauch presented Carew with the first base bag.
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Rod Carew who just turned 71 last week is still seen around Angel Stadium quite a bit and has been known to help out some during Spring Training. Congratulations Rod Carew you are a true champion.