Twins honor Rod Carew with Heart of 29 campaign

Rod Carew staged his biggest comeback in the fall of 2015 following a heart attack.

Today, the Hall of Fame legend is planning to come back again – this time to Cooperstown to celebrate the Class of 2016 and silver anniversary of his own Hall of Fame election.

It’s all a part of a year that will honor the Heart of 29.

The Minnesota Twins, in partnership with Rod Carew and his wife Rhonda, have announced the creation of a year-long campaign to raise funds for the American Heart Association, as well as raise awareness for heart disease and heart failure. The Heart of 29 campaign honors the Carews' wish to assist the American Heart Association following the Hall of Famer's recent, major heart attack and subsequent surgery. Carew had an LVAD, or left ventricular assist device, implanted during the surgery and is awaiting the possible need for a heart transplant.

"I have been fortunate enough to have been given a second chance at life," Carew said. "Now I want to make sure that all Twins fans get their hearts checked so they don't have to go through what I did.....or worse."

The campaign will raise funds for the American Heart Association throughout the 2016 season in a number of ways. Most specifically, Twins fans will be encouraged to join or pledge Rod's Team at the 2016 Twin Cities Heart Walk on Saturday, May 14 at Target Field. The Minnesota Twins will match all pledges to Rod's Team up to a total of $10,000.

Carew, who played 12 of his 19 big league seasons with the Twins and wore No. 29 for virtually his whole career in Minnesota, is a seven-time American League batting champion who finished his career with a .328 batting average and 3,053 hits. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.

"The Twins are honored to partner with the American Heart Association and the Carew family to raise funds and awareness for heart health throughout 2016," said Dave St. Peter, Minnesota Twins President. "The Twins are committed to the Carews' mission to share Rod's story and use it to make people aware of the risks of heart disease and how to prevent it with healthy lifestyle choices."

An estimated 85.6 million people in the U.S. are living with cardiovascular diseases. Nearly 80 percent of cardiovascular disease may be prevented through every day healthy living steps, including physical activity, good nutrition, not smoking, maintaining healthy weight and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

For more information about joining or pledging the Twins Cities Heart Walk, Carew's Corner, and information about heart health, click here.