Picks and Pans Review: Carew

updated 07/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/23/1979 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Rod Carew with Ira Berkow

Everyone knows Rod Carew is the best hitter in baseball. Not everyone knows he was born on a train in Panama, named after the man who delivered him, Dr. Rodney Cline, and once fined himself $100 for making a stupid play. That information and everything else about the first 33 years of Carew's life is related in this straight-forward autobiography. The Bronx Zoo it's not; Carew and Berkow (whose last as-told-to job was with basketball's Walt Frazier) avoid character assassination, although Carew calls his penurious ex-boss, Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith, a "bigot." The appeal of this book, though, is that Carew is remarkably open about his personal life: He never liked his father, and his marriage to a Jewish white woman has been troubled. An affecting section written by Marilynn Carew on being the wife of a seven-time batting champion includes the following gem: "I can go 5-for-5, too. And if my pound cake doesn't come out, then I go 4-for-5." (Simon & Schuster, $9.95)

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