In One Tough Out, Rod Carew shares his remarkable story, beginning in his childhood and continuing to his Hall of Fame baseball career, with recognition for the people and challenges that taught him to grow and persevere.
Carew, a Hall of Famer whose skill and determination earned him a .328 lifetime batting average, seven batting titles, and eighteen All-Star Game appearances, is indeed tough. His story is a satisfying blend of baseball talk with serious reflection, opening with a candid recollection of his poor upbringing in Panama and the abuse he suffered from his sadistic father. Carew carried anger from this abuse through his career; he was often mistaken for being aloof and unfriendly.
In-depth in its coverage of Carew’s playing days, the book cites his teams’ ups and downs alongside explanations of the science of hitting, especially of Carew’s stance, swing, and habits as a “table-setter,” with a knack for putting his bat in the path of a fastball. He tells of how his manager, Billy Martin, helped him to become a complete player, and of how role models like Tony Avila and Harmon Killebrew showed him how a professional ballplayer carries himself on and off the field.
Still, the more compelling story is of Carew’s life after his playing days were over. The death of his daughter, who was seventeen and had leukemia, opened his eyes to his true mission in life: service to others. Later, a heart ailment resulted in surgeries and a heart and kidney transplant, but also expanded Carew’s mission. He became an advocate for heart health, cancer research, and bone marrow and organ transplants.
With inspirational anecdotes and insights aplenty, One Tough Out is Rod Carew’s success story—and a tribute to those who taught him the ultimate meaning of success.
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