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Joe Mauer Retires From MLB

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  • Joe Mauer Retires From MLB

    Joe Mauer Retires After 15 Seasons

    Joe Mauer, the 2009 American League MVP who has spent all 15 seasons of his major league career with the Minnesota Twins, announced his retirement Friday.

    Mauer made his announcement in a letter to fans that was released by the Twins and is set to run in both The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press on Sunday.

    In his 15 major league seasons, Mauer has appeared in six All-Star games, won three Gold Gloves, three batting titles and racked up 2,123 career hits, all with his hometown Twins.

    He is one of 22 former MVPs to play his entire 15-plus-year career with one franchise. Each of the previous 21 is in the Hall of Fame.

    The first overall pick in the 2001 draft out of Cretin-Derham Hall High School, the same program that produced Hall of Fame member Paul Molitor, Mauer made his debut at the Metrodome on April 5, 2004, two weeks before his 21st birthday. He signed his megadeal three weeks before the Twins began playing at Target Field.

    As a catcher, easily the game's most demanding and dangerous position, Mauer's offensive ability was Hall of Fame-worthy. In 2006, he became the first catcher to lead the league in batting average since 1942. He did so again in 2008 and in 2009, when he hit .365 with a .444 on-base percentage and a .587 slugging percentage to top the American League in all three categories and win the MVP award.

    In Mauer's last 10 games as a catcher before the concussion in 2013, he went 17-for-43 with three doubles, three homers and nine RBIs.

    Moving to first base allowed him to play more often, but between 2014 and 2016 his cumulative average was just .267 and the three highest strikeout totals of his career came in each of those seasons.

    His renaissance came in 2017 as the Twins went from 59-103 to 85-77 with a spot in the AL wild-card game, and Mauer hit .305 with 36 doubles, the second-highest total of his career.

    That made it easy to see Mauer playing beyond 2018, but in the end he opted to walk away with a .306 career batting average, making him one of just two players (Chipper Jones) selected No. 1 overall in the draft to hit over .300 in his career.

    Mauer also has a place in the top five on the team's career lists in a clear majority of offensive categories. He is the Twins' all-time leader in doubles and times on base and second in hits behind Kirby Puckett.