Good news: Rod Carew is doing well.

“Doing great,” Carew said last week from his southern California home.

That’s after undergoing heart and kidney transplants four months ago.

I kiddingly asked the Hall of Fame former Twin, now 71, whether he feels well enough to hit .300. After all, Carew’s a seven-time American League batting champion with a lifetime average of .328. He flirted with .400 in 1977 before finishing at .388.

“I don’t know if I can hit .300 now, but I can still make a pass at a ball coming up there at 90 miles an hour,” he said.

Carew enjoys golf and has made six holes in one. He intends to return to the links.

“I haven’t asked the doctors (when he can play again) — I’m not going to push it,” he said. “When they tell me ‘OK, go ahead,’ then I’ll start chipping and putting and stuff.”

Carew walks regularly as part of his rehabilitation.Rod Carew, LVAD Shirt, Heart Transplant

“Doctors are really happy with my progress,” he said. “They’re going to set up a cardio exercise program for me. I’m proud of myself. I didn’t baby (myself).”

Carew doesn’t know the identity of his heart donor. He said he misses being in spring training with the Twins as a special assignment instructor.

“But I’ve talked to some of the guys, which is kind of nice,” he said. “I’m going to take my wife for a couple-days trip to Arizona and hang out and drive around because I can’t fly for another couple of months.”

Carew said he hopes to be strong enough in July to attend Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y., which he annually does. He said he’ll return to Minnesota, “in and out,” in his special role with the Twins.

Article Contact: Charley Walter – Pioneer Press