Minnesota Twins: Five things that defined Joe Mauer’s career

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Joe Mauer
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Joe Mauer /
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MINNEAPOLIS – OCTOBER 06: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates with fans after winning the American League tiebreaker game against the Detroit Tigers on October 6, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS – OCTOBER 06: Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates with fans after winning the American League tiebreaker game against the Detroit Tigers on October 6, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Mauer’s 2009 MVP season

Throughout his career, Mauer was a solid player that was a key component at the top of the Twins lineup. Even though he was one of the most productive players on the team for most of the early years of his career, his defining moment came during his MVP season of 2009.

That year started off on the wrong foot for Mauer as he wound up going on the disabled list in spring training with a back injury. Although the prognosis of an inflammation of the right sacroiliac joint didn’t sound promising, Mauer came back and immediately started tearing the cover off the ball.

His opening month of May was one of the best of his career slashing .414/.500/.838 while hitting 11 home runs and knocking in 32 RBI. While Mauer’s power would eventually fade, the hitting didn’t stop as he flirted with .400 through June and wound up setting career highs in average (.365), home runs (28) and RBI (96).

With Mauer leading the way, the Twins pulled off an improbable comeback to catch the Detroit Tigers in the standings and defeat them in one of the most memorable games in franchise history. Although the 2009 season would come short thanks to a bad call in New York by Phil Cuzzi, Mauer put together the best season of his career and came up with his first and only MVP award.

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