FORT MYERS, Fla. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Twins have their first Spring Training game on Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox.
It’s not just players and fans who are excited to be there. WCCO’s Mark Rosen is in Florida and got the chance to talk with Rod Carew, an all-time Twins great and now a Spring Training instructor with the team. And nobody more than Carew is happier to be in Florida this spring.
Carew was one of the best hitters in Twins history and is in Florida to give the young hitters tips. He’s also grateful just to be alive after suffering a massive heart attack last fall while golfing in California.
Carew survived what is known as the “widow maker,” and now has an artificial device which keeps his heart pumping inside his chest while he gets strong enough to hopefully get a heart transplant later this year. While recovering in the hospital, Carew had two goals: To return to TwinsFest last month, which he did, and return to Fort Myers to help instruct the young players on the finer points of the game.
He’s embracing a second chance at life, and the opportunity to pass on his baseball knowledge to the Twins’ younger players. He loves being back in Florida with his old team.
“You know the camaraderie, the teaching, trying to help these guys understand what this game is all about and what you do in this game,” Carew said. “So to be in the cage and talk to them and point out things to them, I get a kick out of that because they’ve been responding to us.”
Carew is 70 years old and never had any previous serious issue with his heart.