MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer is retiring after 15 primary league seasons, six All-Megastar Video games, 3 Gold Glove awards, 3 batting titles and a pair of,123 occupation hits, all along with his native land Minnesota Twins.
“Thanks, Minnesota Twins, and thanks, enthusiasts, for making my occupation as particular and remarkable because it was once,” Mauer wrote in a full-page advert that can run Sunday in The Minneapolis Megastar Tribune. “On account of you I will depart the sport I like with a complete and thankful middle.”
Mauer’s eight-year, $184 million contract expired the day after the Global Sequence ended, making a herbal parting from the sport he grew up with in St. Paul, lower than 10 miles from the downtown Minneapolis ballparks he known as house with the Twins.
“The verdict got here all the way down to my well being and my circle of relatives,” Mauer wrote. “The chance of a concussion is all the time there, and I used to be reminded of that this season after I neglected 30 video games on account of diving for a bad ball. That’s all it took this time round and it was once all I wish to convey me again to the struggles I confronted in 2013.”
The primary total select within the 2001 draft out of Cretin-Derham Corridor Top Faculty, the similar program that produced the Corridor of Famer Paul Molitor, Mauer made his debut on the Metrodome on April Five, 2004, two weeks earlier than his 21st birthday. He signed his megadeal 3 weeks earlier than the Twins started enjoying at Goal Box.
Mauer stated down the stretch this season that he wasn’t positive but whether or not he was once excited about proceeding to play, with dual Five-year-old daughters at house and a 3rd kid at the approach for him and his spouse, Maddie. Then got here the overall sport of the season on Sept. 30, when he doubled in his remaining at-bat and donned his catcher’s tools to symbolically take yet another pitch within the most sensible of the 9th inning as he tearfully waved to the adoring crowd. Now not many gamers may just enjoy a farewell extra poignant than that.
What made the instant so emotional was once the truth that Mauer hadn’t been in the back of the plate since Aug. 19, 2013, when a bad tip banged off his masks and precipitated a concussion that pressured him to transport to first base.
“The concussion I skilled that season no longer simplest modified my lifestyles professionally with a transfer to first base, however modified me individually as smartly,” Mauer wrote.
Whilst his athleticism — he had a scholarship looking forward to him to play quarterback at Florida State and was once a sharpshooting guard at the basketball group in highschool — allowed for a slightly clean transition on protection, the consequences of the top damage robbed him of his prowess on the plate for many of the subsequent 3 years.
As a catcher, simply the sport’s maximum tough and threatening place, Mauer’s offensive talent was once Corridor of Status-worthy. In 2006, he changed into the primary catcher to guide the league in batting reasonable since 1942. He did so once more in 2008 and in 2009, when he hit .365 with a .444 on-base proportion and a .587 slugging proportion to most sensible the American League in all 3 classes and win the Maximum Precious Participant Award. In Mauer’s remaining 10 video games as a catcher earlier than the concussion in 2013, he was once 17-for-43 with 3 doubles, 3 homers and 9 runs batted in.
Staying wholesome changed into a problem, then again, and his reputation lessened some in a state most often fiercely pleased with homegrown gamers on account of the scale of his contract and the quantity of his absences.
A knee damage restricted his rookie season to 35 video games, and a strained left quadriceps had him at the disabled record for greater than a month in 2007. Again hassle sidelined him for all of April in 2009, when Mauer nonetheless controlled to hit 28 house runs, by way of a ways his occupation top. In 2011, soreness and weak point in either one of his legs stored him out for greater than two months.
Shifting to first base allowed him to play extra regularly, however from 2014 to 2016 his cumulative reasonable was once simply .267, and the 3 best possible strikeout totals of his occupation got here in each and every of the ones seasons.
His renaissance got here in 2017 because the Twins went from 59-103 to 85-77 and a place within the A.L. wild-card sport, batting .305 with 36 doubles, the second-highest overall of his occupation. That made it simple to look Mauer enjoying past 2018, however in spite of everything he opted to stroll away with a .306 batting reasonable and a spot within the most sensible 5 at the group’s occupation lists in a transparent majority of offensive classes. Mauer is the group’s occupation chief in doubles and instances on base and moment in hits in the back of Kirby Puckett.