Mauer was a hometown hero
As mentioned in the first slide, Mauer was just a kid playing high school baseball in St. Paul when the Twins drafted him over Mark Prior. Fifteen years later, Mauer is one of the greatest players to put on a Twins uniform and a lot of that has to do with his hometown roots.
Mauer was exactly what this franchise needed coming out of the awful 1990s and into the 2000s. While the team was slated for contraction at one point during his stint in the minor leagues, Mauer came up in 2004 and immediately spawned a new generation of Twins fans.
From video game to ice cream commercials, when people across the country thought of the Minnesota Twins, they thought of Joe Mauer. That’s a distinction that used to belong to the seven players who have already had their number retired by the franchise.
That’s the reason why in a meaningless season finale against the Chicago White Sox last October, the Twins made a major point to give Mauer a proper sendoff, even letting him strap on the catching gear one last time to a standing ovation.
Some may not be the biggest fan of Mauer, but there’s no denying what he means to the franchise which his why his number will be hung up at Target Field and possibly enshrined in Cooperstown in the near future.