Anaheim, Ca. — Baseball players have been known for their off-field hobbies, like golf, fishing, or painting. Hall of Famer Rod Carew is no exception, though he played superstar-level ball and dabbled in his hobby at the same time — during the game.
I ran into old friend Carew Monday in front of the Angels dugout at Angel Stadium in Anaheim before the series opener against the Mariners. We were catching up for a while. Howie Kendrick, the Angels second baseman eventually walked over to say hello. “I hear you’re a photographer, so am I,” Kendrick said to Carew. Carew and Kendrick discussed the biz for a few minutes, and then Rod broke out this beauty…
He took pictures — while manning first base. This was as an Angel around 1979. “I had a remote in both pockets!” Carew said. He had placed cameras at both ends of the Angels dugout: one aimed at home plate, the other at third base. And how about this: Carew noted that manager John McNamara, and later Gene Mauch, had no issues with his indulgence. ”I got some great pictures,” Carew acknowledged. “You should see how many times a hitter’s eyes are closed at impact!”
You know how bunting is a lost art in the big leagues? I asked Carew about it. “I bunted safely 151 times in 190 attempts,” he said of his Hall of Fame career. How many times did he drag a bunt towards the second baseman? “About four times,” Carew said. If you saw him play, he was a magician pushing a bunt down the third base line. “You should be able to get at least 10 extra hits a season if you’re a good bunter. Guys just don’t work on that part of the game,” Carew said, shaking his head…
The Mariners took Game 1 of the three-game set, putting on an exciting show. More on that later today!