Joe Mauer is announcing his retirement from baseball after a 15-year career playing for his hometown team, the Minnesota Twins.
For baseball fans in Minnesota, things just won’t be the same heading into the 2019 season. It will be the start of a new era for the Minnesota Twins — an era without Joe Mauer.
The 15-year veteran will be officially announcing his retirement by taking out a full-page ad in this Sunday’s edition of the Star-Tribune.
“After much consideration, I have decided to retire from playing baseball,” Mauer wrote in the ad, via the Star-Tribune. “The decision came down to my health and my family. The risk of concussion is always there, and I was reminded of that this season after missing over 30 games as a result of diving for a foul ball.
“Thank you, Minnesota Twins, and thank you, fans, for making my career as special and as memorable as it was. Because of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grateful heart.”
There’s no doubt Mauer’s words will be a tearjerker for diehard Twins fans who have watched every game of his storied career. Mauer, a native of St. Paul, got to enjoy the ideal career for anyone who grew up in Minnesota. Though his career is ending at age 35 — probably a little sooner than he had hoped — he got to spend 15 years playing for his hometown team, and that’s something to be proud of.
In addition to playing his entire career at home in Minnesota, Mauer, at the very least, has a case for the Hall of Fame. He is a three-time American League batting champion, the only catcher to ever accomplish that feat. Mauer was also a six-time All-Star, the 2009 American League MVP, a three-time Gold Glover and five-time Silver Slugger. He will retire with a career .306 batting average, 2,123 hits, 143 home runs and 923 RBIs.
Whether he gets into Cooperstown or not, we’ll find that out a few years down the road. But there couldn’t be someone more deserving than Mauer, not just as a baseball player but as a person as well.
If it hadn’t been for concussion issues, Mauer’s career might not be ending. But nonetheless, he gave Twins fans a ton of great memories over the last 15 years, and he will be remembered as a legend in Minnesota sports for years to come.
It will be tough for Twins fans to see Mauer go, but the memories will be there forever.