Joe Mauer has announced his retirement in a letter to Twins fans.
Joe debuted with the Twins in April of 2004, about a week before his 21st birthday. At the time I was the first manager of a group home for three particular cognitively disabled teens with aggressive behaviors so extreme that all their previous community placements had failed. I needed physically stout young men who wouldn’t get mad when they got hit, bitten, their hair pulled, kicked or spit on but would instead respond by risking personal injury to hold our boys down until the rage passed using as little force as possible. All of them were recent graduates of Cretin Durham High, Joe’s school. I think I’ve already told you guys how Joe sat with a mentally retarded girl every day at lunch so she wouldn’t be picked on. My boys were just a year or two younger than Joe and they wanted to be like him. They were.
Joe Mauer struck out exactly once in his four year high school career. USA Today named him the best high school baseball player and…the best high school football player in the country.
When Joe won his first batting title in 2006 he was the first catcher in the history of the American League to have done so and the first in MLB since 1942. His three batting titles is equal to the total number of other times that a catcher has won a batting title since 1901. In 2009 he became the only catcher in MLB history to lead the league in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage in the same year. He received 27 of the 28 votes for league MVP. He also won a gold glove that year (for the second year in a row). In other words, in 2009 Joe Mauer was as good or better than any other catcher in the history of MLB.
In 2006 Joe won his first batting title. In 2006 my son’s son was born.
In 2018 Joe retired. In 2018 my son is in a tent city for the homeless and refuses to come out.
It’s getting cold early this off season.