First-ballot Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn discuss their renowned careers in a new episode of MLB Network's Studio 42 with Bob Costas on Friday, November 19 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Throughout the one-hour interview, Carew and Gwynn cover each other's hitting style, pursuing a .400 batting average, reaching 3,000 career hits, the hitting expertise of Seattle Mariners All-Star Ichiro Suzuki, and the relationship they each shared with fellow Hall of Famer Ted Williams. A preview of the interview can be viewed here.
Carew, elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991, played his 19-year career for the Minnesota Twins (1967-1978) and California Angels (1979-1985). Gwynn, a career .338 hitter, spent his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
During the episode, Carew, the 1977 American League MVP award winner, offers his opinion on which former player should be a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Gwynn, a five-time Gold Glove Award winner, discusses playing in the 1998 World Series against the New York Yankees and his favorite hit of his career.
Prior to Studio 42 with Bob Costas, MLB Network's live nightly studio show during the offseason, Hot Stove, will air at 6:00 p.m. ET with updates and analysis of the moves all 30 clubs are making and planning in preparation for the upcoming season.
Highlights from the interview include:
- ROD CAREW ON THE KEYS TO HITTING:
- "We good hitters, all good hitters trust themselves at the plate, trust their hands. ... That's why we were so calm, that's why we were so good at what we did. There was never panic, so we went about doing what we could as hitters in our simple way. We didn't complicate things like a lot of hitters do."
- ROD CAREW ON IF A PLAYER WILL EVER BAT .400 IN ONE SEASON:
- "I think it depends on the hitter. It has to be a guy that's going to be willing to take walks, has good speed, can beat out infield hits, can beat out bunts, and that's disciplined at the plate."
- ROD CAREW ON PLAYERS BUNTING TODAY:
- "What players don't realize is that even if you don't get a bunt down, that third baseman or first baseman is in and any ground ball you hit in that direction has a chance of going through. Guys don't want to do it anymore. Everybody wants to swing the bat and I guess hitting four or five home runs a year is more important than adding 25 or 30 bunt hits."
- TONY GWYNN ON ROD CAREW'S BATTING STYLE:
- "When I think about Rod, I think about him taking a nice, relaxed swing with no effort. Not trying to do too much to the ball, but taking his swing."
- TONY GWYNN ON HIS KEYS TO HITTING:
- "I felt like I could hit everything. My two things were if I got my hands back and my foot on the ground, I can hit it all. ... If I was sitting off-speed, I'd just foul off the fastball. In my mentality, I had a short bat, had a short swing, contact was my thing. I never really worried about hitting one pitch because I felt like I could hit them all."
- TONY GWYNN ON HALL OF FAME OUTFIELDER TED WILLIAMS:
- "Later on I said, 'Ted, you were a dead-pull hitter. They put everybody over on the right side, why not hit the ball the other way? You know you could do it.' And Ted's stubborn answer as usual was, 'I'm not going to let those damn guys beat me out there, I'll show them I could hit the ball that way, they couldn't get me.' ... We see it all the time with guys coming up to the plate and they shift over and their mindset or ego won't allow them to just try to back a ball up and hit it the other way. But I was going to use the whole field because to me, it was just a whole lot easier."
- TONY GWYNN ON HITTING A HOME RUN IN GAME ONE OF THE 1998 WORLD SERIES:
- "That's the highlight of my career. Playing at Yankee Stadium and poor David Wells. I've talked to him about it so much since I've retired. It's my favorite hit of my career. ... That's the biggest game in the world, a World Series game. And the fact that it was in New York in Yankee Stadium. I'll remember that forever."
- TONY GWYNN ON HITTING .338 FOR HIS CAREER:
- "George Brett said to me a few years ago, 'What's great about being a good hitter is that anytime anybody makes a run at .400, they're going to call us and ask us whether we think he's got a chance.' To be part of that group is the ultimate."