Short-lived MLB duo No. 8: Rod Carew and Reggie Jackson — 1982–1985 California Angels
By the late 1970s to early 1980s, the Angels were facing a dilemma. Under owner Gene Autry, the club had looked to the free-agent market to rejuvenate the team and wound up signing Don Baylor, Fred Lynn and Rod Carew. However, they failed to lead the team to the postseason in their first year together.
Autry looked to the free-agent market once more and aggressively pursued five-time World Series champion Reggie Jackson. With the Yankees surprisingly electing to not make an offer, the Angels swooped in and signed Jackson on a four-year deal in January of 1982.
In his first season with the team, Jackson surpassed all expectations. He finished sixth in the AL MVP voting after an All-Star campaign that was highlighted by a league-leading 39 home runs along with 101 RBI. Carew tagged along and created a formidable duo as he hit .319 on a 4.7 bWAR season.
The two led the Angels to an ALCS appearance where they ultimately fell to the Milwaukee Brewers in five games. Neither hit lights out as they did countless times before — both hit below .180 — but they did deliver in a couple of clutch situations. For instance, Jackson’s lone home run of the series came in Game 2 via a vintage moonshot to deep center field.
Carew and Jackson played three more years together, with two of them being stout All-Star seasons — an impressive feat at their age. While they never brought home a title to Anaheim, the two enjoyed profound success in skyrocketing the Angels’ attendance numbers and forming the team’s first revered hitting duo. Still, one could just dream of a team with both of them in their prime. With Carew’s pure hitting ability coupled with Jackson’s prowess as a power hitter, they would have been a near-perfect one-two punch in the 1970s.