Rod Carew on What It Takes To Make The Big Leagues


Rod Carew talks about talent being hit and miss in his autobiography, Carew, published in 1979 and later reprinted in 2010. While this is a St. Louis Cardinals site, I have great respect for the Hall of Famers that played the game and did so cleanly.
Aug 29, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Twin former player Rod Carew shakes hands with Tony Oliva during the announcement of the 2014 all star game being held in Minneapolis at Target Field. Image Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
I could talk about how he was underpaid as a player on the Minnesota Twins by ownership but I’ll save that for my Dugout Dirt column at Fansided Radio.

Instead, I’m going to talk about something that struck a chord with me on page 57 while reading his autobiography this past Thursday.

While talking about what it takes to make it to the big leagues, Carew writes: “Looking back, I find it a strange thing that on the way up you just can’t tell who’s going to get to the majors.”

A few sentences later, Carew writes what he tells people when they ask him what it takes. He says:

"But when people ask me, What does it take to make it? I’m not really sure what to answer. I know it takes work. I know it takes desire. And I know it takes a lot of luck. You can’t get injured too seriously. You can’t get down on yourself too badly. You have to have the right people helping you, taking an interest in you. Now, what proportion is crucial? I don’t know and don’t pretend to. I was the only player on my Rookie League team to make the big leagues. I never would have predicted that. Some guys really busted themselves to improve. Some wanted it just as much as I did."

It’s always amazing when a player is a red hot prospect in the minor leagues after being drafted in the early rounds but never seems to hit major league pitching or is a top pitching prospect that dominates the minor leagues but just can’t be the same kind of pitcher in the major leagues. All you have to do is look at some of the top prospects over the years and who has made it and who hasn’t.