Posted by: gravessack | April 13, 2018

Mauer Reaches Big Milestone

Joe Mauer batting for the Minnesota TwinsIn the Twins-White Sox game on April 12, bundled up fans witnessed history as fan favorite Joe Mauer collected his 2,000th major league hit!

Mauer, a St. Paul native, started high school at Cretin-Derham Hall in 1997. He made a huge impact while playing baseball, as he struck out just once in four years. That superb performance caused his hometown team to scout him. Ultimately, with the first pick of the 2001 MLB draft, the Twins picked Mauer.

April 5, 2004. That was the date when Mauer singled up the middle off Cleveland’s Rafael Betancourt to claim his first hit in the major leagues. He went 2-for-3 that day. Ever since then, the Florida resident has been hitting very well. Over the next decade, Mauer went on to win 5 Silver Sluggers, 3 Gold Gloves, 3 batting titles, and made 6 All-Star Game appearances.

However, in 2014, the Twins permanently moved Mauer from catcher to first base due to concussion and other health concerns. It looked like Mauer’s production was dwindling, but he rebounded to have a couple solid seasons, making this big occasion come to fruition.

Having singled already in that brisk game at Target Field, Mauer came to bat against White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer in the 7th inning with two men on. The count was 2-2, but that did not phase Mauer. Bummer tried to slither a fastball by him, but Mauer smoked the ball into center field with the infield in for a two-run single and the milestone hit. The hit also added key insurance runs. Once at first, the attendees gave him a standing ovation, and Mauer’s teammates applauded him. After the inning, Mauer reluctantly stood by first base as the patrons continued to acknowledge what had just transpired.

Mauer’s quest at achieving the celebrated feat took just a little more than 14 years. He ignored the complainers who said that he should be playing when he was experiencing nagging injuries. There were plenty of fans who thought Mauer was lackadaisical after signing the massive eight year, $184 million contract before the 2010 campaign. Knowing what he could accomplish, he proved his skeptics wrong. In his journey, Mauer also has doubled 405 times, tripled 19 times, and has hit 137 home runs, en route to an overall batting average of .309.

Our hometown hero now joins a list of 284 other major leaguers who have achieved the feat. Among Twins’ history two other players, Rod Carew and Kirby Puckett, had more than 2,000 hits as members of the Twins.

Mauer’s 2,000th hit came in the year in which his contract is expiring. Over the years, he has appeared in commercials, been an amazing advocate for Gillette Specialty Healthcare, and took part in numerous community functions. The Twins should be smart about Mauer’s next contract, but they absolutely need to re-sign him. Mauer deserves to spend the rest of his playing days in the Twin Cities.

Little did we know that the boy who was playing around with his brothers, Jake and Billy, on St. Paul’s diamonds in the early 1990s, would become this great. Maybe one day, Mauer will have a statue outside Target Field! In the meantime, we would like to congratulate him on a momentous event that will go in Twins books forever!

Written by: Michael L. Sack


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