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Non-Football: Joe Mauer officially announces his retirement

A Minnesota sports icon calls it quits

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Adam Thielen honored Joe Mauer before the Vikings’ Sunday Night Football game a few weeks ago
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

This isn’t related to the National Football League or the Minnesota Vikings, but it is a big story for the sports fans of the state of Minnesota and the Minnesota Twins, and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we have a lot of those here as well.

On Friday, Twins’ first baseman/catcher Joe Mauer officially announced his retirement, something that we kind of knew was coming following the Twins’ final game of this season. He made it official in a letter that he sent out earlier today.

The Twins made Mauer the #1 overall pick in the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft after an outstanding two-sport career at Cretin-Derham Hall High School. He had originally committed to play college football for Bobby Bowden at Florida State, but ultimately decided that baseball was his calling instead. There were points in his career with the Twins that people joked that he might be the best quarterback in the state of Minnesota. . .and, given the state of the Vikings’ quarterback depth chart in some of those years, they may have been right.

For most of his career in Minnesota, Mauer was an outstanding offensive player. as he led the American League in batting average three times, becoming the first catcher ever to win three batting titles, and won the A.L. Most Valuable Player Award in 2009. He finished his career with a .306 batting average, 143 career home runs, and 923 runs batted in. He also finished his career with 2,123 hits, the fourth-highest total in Twins history.

Congratulations to Joe Mauer on an outstanding career, and basically getting to live a dream that I’m guessing a lot of us had growing up. There’s only one real way you can sum it up.