Stu’s Hunt Down: The Rod Carew Trade

Posted on July 17th, 2009 – 12:57 PM
By Michael Rand

beastieboys.jpgIn case this Hunt Down isn’t enough, please note that Stu has been sprinkling his awesome all over the place lately. Stu?

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The Huntdown

Name: The Carew Trade (Rod Carew, Ken Landreaux, Brad Havens, Dave Engle and Paul Hartzell)

Claim to Fame, Minnesota: a deal wherein the Minnesota Twins traded their best player to a large market team for four relatively unknown quantities. Sound familiar? Carew wanted to leave the Twins after being serially underpaid for years, and the following quote from Twins owner Calvin Griffith helped grease the skids:

“I’ll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don’t go to ballgames, but they’ll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it’ll scare you to death. We came here because you’ve got good, hardworking white people here.

Griffith would later say that he was misquoted and/or joking, which totally makes the above passage HILARIOUS. Carew, just one season removed from the greatest Time Magazine cover ever, was eventually traded to the just-California Angels in the spring of 1979 for Ken Landreaux, Brad Havens, Dave Engle and Paul Hartzell.

Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: Carew would continue to hit north of .300, lead the just-California Angels to two playoff appearances and extend his consecutive All-Star game streak to 18 seasons in a row. Although the players the Twins received didn’t have quite that impact, Landreaux still has the longest hitting streak in Twins history at 31 games, and Dave Engle represented the Twins in an All-Star Game. No, really, that happened.

Where They Are Now:
• Rod Carew: working for the Angels, the Twins, and Major League Baseball in various capacities.
• Ken Landreaux: is a member of the Dodgers Speakers Bureau (Bureaux?), and lives in Los Angeles.
• Brad Havens: whereabouts unkneauxn. I’ll stop now.
• Dave Engle: most recently a manager in the Mets minor league system.
• Paul Hartzell: is a vice president for Merrill Corporation and lives in Menlo Park, California.

Glorious Randomness: as his Wiki entry notes, Engle’s catching career ended when he began having serious issues with throwing the ball back to the pitcher. If you want to sum up what being a Twins fan was like before 1987, you could do worse than that. Old-timers, feel free to add your lamentations in comments. Young folks, talk about your Twitters or whatever. It’s Friday, go nuts.

Proprietor bonus points: For connecting the subject to the chosen art.

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