Curran: 15 Seasons, 1 Jersey: Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer Retires

Minnesota Twins longtime catcher and first baseman Joe Mauer has decided to retire from the game of baseball after 15 seasons and the hometown hero from St. Paul did it all in one jersey.

Twins fan or not, Joe’s career was a special one to acknowledge.

He gained respect from every teammate, coach, umpire and all those he encountered along the way and became the golden child of Minnesota Twins baseball since he first arrived on the scene.

In 2001 the Minnesota Twins selected Joe Mauer as their first pick in a loaded draft.

At Cretin-Derham Hall High School, Mauer stood out not only in baseball but was a standout quarterback that had D1 colleges like Florida State ready to give him a scholarship.

For his high school basketball team, he averaged around 21 points a game.

He decided to sign a contract with to play professional baseball, a choice many would agree was the right one.

He became a 6x All-Star and 3x Gold Glove winner.

No catcher before Mauer had ever won a batting title.

Mauer did it three times.

He was the AL MVP in 2009 where he hit for a .365 average with a career-high 28 HR and 96 RBI in 138 games.

He was second all-time in hits in Twins history with 2,123 behind only Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.

His list of achievements is as long as his sideburns were in the ’08 season but, it was the way he went about accomplishing them that made Joe Mauer the legend he will be remembered by.

Former teammate Michael Cuddyer said there is no greater representation of a team, a city and a community then what Joe Mauer was for the Twins.

He became a feared hitter, a defensive guru, a team leader, fan-favorite, and a coach’s dream student on the field.

But off the field, he became a father (to yes, of course, twin girls), a loving son, grandson and brother, and a person an entire city could stand behind.

In the 2010 offseason, Mauer became a free agent and the Twins hopeful feared he would do what many modern-day athletes choose, more money and another team.

Arguably giving another meaning to ‘St. Paul Saint’, he resigned with the Twins for another eight-years.

His career may have never been the same since he made the transition from catcher to first-base but he was still a threat to give teams unrest.

He ended his career hitting .306 and a .388 On-base percentage.

His final game in the MLB was a perfect one.

He was first greeted by his twin girls Maren and Emily, who then ran back to mom, Maddie Mauer, who has known Joe since they were eight-years-old, became high school sweethearts, and now married.

In his last career at-bat, an opposite-field double ringed off Mauer’s bat.

The land where many of his hits helped the Twins over the course of his career.

Then, former manager Paul Molitor decided to give him one last catch behind the dish, the same spot that sprouted his career.

He walked off the field emotionally, knowing that a new chapter was set to begin.

At a press conference announcing his retirement, he thanked his family, friends and the Twins organization for his outstanding career that left him as one of the most respected players to ever play the game.

Among the great moments and class-act, Joe Mauer became one must acquiesce in saying; well-played Mauer.