Joe Mauer is the heart and soul of the Minnesota Twins and a great ambassador of the national pastime. A four time All Star, Mauer is as close to a “franchise player” as exists in baseball today. Better yet, he is a Minnesota native. Born on April 19, 1983, in Saint Paul, Mauer is a natural athlete who excelled in football and baseball in high school.
In fact, he is the only athlete selected by USA Today as the High School Player of the Year in both football and baseball. As the quarterback and catcher for noted Cretin-Durham Hall high school, Mauer let the Raiders to two consecutive Class 5A State Championship games. In his junior and senior years, he passed for 5,528 yards and accounted for 73 touchdowns. He was named Quarterback of the Year by the National Quarterback Club. Joe was offered a scholarship to play for Florida State University after his senior year.
As impressive as his football numbers were, his baseball stats were even more dazzling. As a four year starter for the Raiders, Mauer batted a remarkable .605. Even more dazzling is the fact that in four years, he struck out just once. That’s right, one time in four years. In 2001, Joe was the Gatorade Player of the Year in football and baseball.
Fortunately for the Twins, Joe declined the FSU scholarship offer and became the top draft pick in the 2001 draft. Due to injury, Mauer saw limited action with the Twins in 2004, but his 6 homers and .308 average in the 35 games he played, showed the Twins they had their catcher of the future. In January, 2005, Mauer signed a $5.7 million contract with the Twins and then went out and hit .294 in 131 games.
In his breakout campaign, 2006, Mauer was firing on all cylinders all season long. He became the first catcher inn history to lead the major leagues in batting with a stellar .347 average, 13 homers and 84 runs batted in. 2006 was his first of four All Star seasons.
Mauer was busy helping to transform the Twins into perennial Central Division frontrunners. In 2009, Mauer topped his 2006 season by hitting .365 with 28 homers and 96 RBI’s. He became the first catcher to lead the league in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage. His value to the Twins successful pennant drive was not overlooked as Joe received the 2009 AL MVP award.
On March 21st, 2010, the Twins signed Mauer to a $184 million contract for eight years. It looks like the Twins have their franchise player and if they find a live arm or two Joe Mauer will bring the World Series back to Minnesota.
JOE MAUER CAREER STATS