Heart of 29 bow tie

Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew’s Heart of 29 campaign was part of the action for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday night.

The campaign’s logo was woven throughout the bow tie worn by MLB on Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal wears a bow tie with a charity tie-in during every broadcast on Fox. He announced last month that Carew’s campaign to boost awareness and prevention of heart disease would be in the high-profile spotlight of the World Series, and it just so happened that Heart of 29 was donned for this highly anticipated game — the first World Series game in 71 years at Chicago’s famous ballpark.

Rosenthal screenshot-cropped

Carew suffered a massive heart attack on Sept. 20, 2015, then went into cardiac arrest during a procedure to open clogged arteries. He eventually went home from the hospital only to return to deal with severe heart failure; the muscle no longer effectively pumped oxygen-rich blood to the rest of his body. He needed a new heart but was too frail, so doctors implanted a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to handle the pumping of blood that his damaged heart could no longer do.

Carew and Scully

Rod Carew and Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully during Carew’s visit to Dodger Stadium. (Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Dodgers)

He’s lived with the machine ever since, but is now healthy enough to get a transplant. He’s cleared some medical hurdles and hopes to soon “no longer be a bionic man,” as he likes to say.

About this time last year, Carew was still recovering from the LVAD operation when he reached out to the American Heart Association to launch what became Heart of 29, a name derived from the jersey number he wore throughout his career.

Within weeks of sharing his story, another former ballplayer was inspired to get his heart checked and discovered he needed a quadruple bypass. Saving him and his family from enduring what Carew and his family endured was exactly what Carew was seeking.

Carew toured the country this year spreading his message at ballparks. He appeared at home games for his two former teams – the Twins and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. He also was honored at Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego, and took part in the annual Hall of Fame weekend.

“The last year has been a challenge to say the least,” Carew said. “But through the efforts of a dedicated team of doctors and nurses, and my friends in baseball, I carry on. I look forward to continuing my work for the Heart of 29 for years to come.”

Rod Carew speaking on stage

Carew speaking at the Heart of 29 kickoff event in January.