photo via wikimedia under the creative commons license
The hometown kid: Joe Mauer
October 5, 2018
On Sunday, September 30th, 2018 Joe Mauer, the former star catcher and first baseman for the Minnesota Twins may have just played his last game in the major league. The last game of the 2018 season was dedicated by the Minnesota Twins to Joe Mauer as his contract would expire after that game. The events and circumstances of that game were nothing short of magical.
Sunday was no ordinary day at Target Field; it was a memorable day. The Minnesota Twins squared off against the Chicago White Sox in a game that had little meaning towards playoffs but a whole lot of meaning towards one specific player, #7 Joe Mauer. The Twins would go on to win the game 5-4 and would sweep the series finishing the year with a losing record of 78-84 (.464).
Joe Mauer was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota on April 19, 1983. Growing up he played baseball, basketball, and football at Cretin-Derham High School. During the summer of 2001, Joe Mauer looked to go into college to play football for Florida State University, but the Minnesota Twins had other plans for Mauer. The Minnesota Twins decided to offer Joe Mauer a lot of money that he could not turn down. Thus Mauer turned away from football and focused on baseball.
During the 2001 MLB draft the Twins held the first pick of the draft and with that, they selected Joe Mauer, “The Hometown Kid.” Mauer would finally get his chance to show himself in 2004 when he was moved to the starting catcher. Injuries would plague him that season, but it didn’t stop him from improving and bouncing back. During his career as an MLB player, Joe would excel to a very high standard and would ultimately propel himself to multiple All-Star Game appearances and numerous awards.
Mauer started his career out as a catcher and was the first catcher in the American League to lead the AL’s batting average. Later on in his career, he would experience a nasty concussion that would leave him sidelined for multiple games. From 2013 on out Mauer was moved to play first baseman to limit the risk of injury.
Fast forward to the present where Joe Mauer quite possible stepped onto the field for the last time as a player. Joe Mauer’s last plate appearance featured him hitting a double straight into the left field gap. In the top of the ninth Joe Mauer came onto the field in full catchers gear for the first time since 2012. It was an emotional moment that was captured on live television as Joe Mauer stood before thousands of cheering fans giving him quite possibly a final goodbye sendoff.
Right now Joe Mauer will take the offseason to think about his options on whether he wants to continue to play baseball or to enter retirement.