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Posts Tagged ‘Rod Carew’

Here’s the micro documentary personal project I’ve been working on this month about the Tinker Field baseball park where the Minnesota Twins held spring training until 1990. It may not be the Polo Grounds or Ebbets Field—but for many people this place holds a lot of memories.

This is my memory…

Scott W. Smith

 

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On Friday night, I happened to catch my first game at Target Field where the Minneapolis Twins play. (That’s baseball for the non-sports fans out there.) That happened to be the night that the Twins organization was honoring 50 of its greatest all-time players. One of those players was the great second baseman Rod Carew.

Ever since that game I’ve been thinking about Carew. When I played little league ball and in high school Carew was a hero of mine. He was an all-star second baseman, who hit singles and stole bases quite well. (A pattern I tried my best to repeat.) He is one of only 27 MLB players who has had over 3,000 career hits and he was voted into the baseball hall of fame in 1991.

According to the official Rod Carew website: “Rodney Cline Carew was born on a train in Gatun, Panama on October 1, 1945. He moved with his family to New York when he was fourteen years old, and signed with the Minnesota Twins on the day he graduated from high school.”

One vivid memory I have of watching Carew take spring training batting practice at Tinker Field in Orlando was how he would take a small towel and place it down the third base line and practice hitting bunts that would land on or near the towel. Whether bunting or swinging away he had amazing precision at hitting the ball wherever he wanted to. (Something that comes with natural born talent and lots of practice.) And no matter how far he succeeded professionally he never seemed to forget where it all started…far from the spotlight.

“There is a special sensation in getting good wood on the ball and driving a double down the left-field line as the crowd in the ballpark rises to its feet and cheers. But, I also remember how much fun I had as a skinny barefoot kid hitting a tennis ball with a broomstick on a quiet, dusty street in Panama.”
Rod Carew

An interesting lesser known fact is Carew spent six years as a Marine in the reserves. He also wrote the autobiography Carew (along with Ira Berkow).

Scott W. Smith

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Later today is the showdown match between the USA & Canada in men’s hockey as the 2010 Winter Olympics come to a close. If Team USA wins it will be the first time they have one in hockey since the 1980 Winter Games. The was the famous “Miracle on Ice” when a bunch of college experienced young men from the United States beat Russia’s finest and most experienced players.

I’m not a theologian, but if Team USA wins today I don’t think anyone will call it a miracle. In fact, the loss for Canada will have more impact on Canadians than a USA win will have on Americans. “The Miracle on Ice” did not make life-long  hockey fans of Americans, it just made many people extremely proud to be Americans. Heck, we’re still celebrating that underdog victory 30 years later.

So for my second video blog (and just under the February deadline) I’d decided to play off the game tonight and touch on the movie Miracle, and address the question, “What makes a good sports film?”

P.S. A Few video details.

You may look at the video and ask in the tradition of Field of Dreams, “Is that Vancouver?” No, it’s Iowa. George Wyth State Park by my house and popular for cross-country skiing and ice fishing in the winter, and biking and boating in the summer and fall.

What’s up with the Minnesota Twins hat? A little nod to the closest major league team to my house, and a reminder of Diablo Cody’s success as a writer who wrote Juno in the Minneapolis area. (Though since Cody is from Chicago, if she has a favorite team I bet it’s the Cubs.) The Twins used to have spring training in Orlando so I saw them play a lot growing up. Loved watching Rod Carew practice the art of bunting during batting practice. And the 1980 Team USA hockey coach, Herb Brooks– as well as many of the players–were from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Plus the hat is red, white and blue so it seemed like a fitting hat to wear for this video blog. Maybe I’ll make it a staple of all the videos.

A little reminder of regionalism and that talented athletes and screenwriters come from everywhere.

Related post: Screenwriting & the Miracle on Ice

Scott W. Smith

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