One of the benefits of living in Los Angeles for 5+ years is that Twins’ games (when they were in town) were 3½ hours closer than where I lived in MN, so I was able to catch several of their games against the Angels. And one of the most memorable I attended at The Big A was on Sunday, August 4th, 1985.
Starting for the Twins that day was ace Frank Viola, against future Twins minor league pitching coach Stew Cliburn. Even though both teams were already several games back in the AL West, there was a definite buzz in the air in that crowd of 41,000+, and in the bottom of the 3rd inning, those fans were rewarded.
the moment is captured in brilliant 110mm
The crowd jumped to its feet as Rod Carew laced a single into the outfield, his 3000th major league hit, the 16th to reach that milestone. The game was delayed as Rod waved to the crowd and the event was acknowledged on scoreboard and over the PA.
Growing up in NW MN, I was one of many kids whose hitting style was patterned after Rod’s, even to the point that I learned to switch hit so I could bat LH like he did. That said, it was an awesome treat to see my idol reach this vaunted level. No doubt Kent Hrbek, standing next to Rod in my blurry zoom image, also grew up idolizing him.
Rod ended up 1-for-5 for the day, the single his only hit. And this is one of the few games I attended where Ron Davis pitched but did not get a blown save. Although the Angels beat the Twins 6-5, it didn’t spoil my memories of the game.
the 3000 Hit Club scrolled up the scoreboard, ending with
“and of course Rod Carew – 3,000“