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timeline Joe Mauer Twins career: From St. Paul to the Hall

Minnesota Twins legend Joe Mauer's career highlights, from his debut to his retirement, and his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

On June 5, 2001, the Minnesota Twins made a momentous decision by selecting Joe Mauer, an 18-year-old from Cretin-Derham Hall, with the first overall pick. Mauer described the occasion as "kind of a fairy tale," marking the beginning of a remarkable journey.

After signing his first contract, Mauer was sent to rookie league ball, where he made his professional debut. His talent was evident as he hit an impressive .400 in 32 games with the Elizabethton Twins in Tennessee.

A significant turning point came on November 14, 2003, when the Twins traded their starting catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, to the San Francisco Giants. This move paved the way for Mauer to take over at the position, marking the beginning of his influential role within the team.

Mauer’s highly-anticipated major league debut took place on April 5, 2004, as he skipped Triple-A and headed straight to the majors. Despite an initial knee injury, he made a strong impression by scoring runs and showcasing his skills.

In July 2006, Mauer achieved an impressive batting average of .392 and played in his first All-Star Game. This was the beginning of a series of accolades, as he would be bestowed with the honor five more times in his career, ultimately earning recognition as the first catcher to win a batting title in 64 years.

After winning his second batting title in 2008, Mauer faced a setback with a back injury that caused him to miss the first month of the 2009 campaign. However, he made a triumphant return with a home run in his first at-bat, marking the beginning of the best season of his career.

In March 22, 2010, Mauer solidified his commitment to the Twins by signing an eight-year, $184 million contract extension, demonstrating his dedication to the team and his career.

An unexpected career-altering moment occurred on August 19, 2013, when Mauer took a foul tip to the helmet during a game. This incident marked the end of his time as a catcher, leading him to transition to the role of a first baseman for the final five seasons of his career.

Throughout his career, Mauer achieved numerous milestones, including collecting his 2,000th hit in a game against the Chicago White Sox on April 12, 2018. This remarkable achievement solidified his legacy in the company of fellow hall of famers in club history.

On September 30, 2018, Mauer made an emotional exit from the game, retiring after 15 major league seasons with the Twins. His decision was influenced by health concerns, specifically the risk of concussion, and his desire to prioritize his role as a husband and father.

The Twins wasted no time in honoring Mauer’s legacy by retiring his number, 7, less than a year after his retirement. This gesture solidified his place among the greatest players in the history of the team.

On August 5, 2023, Mauer was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame, marking yet another milestone in his illustrious career. His family played a significant role in the ceremony, highlighting the impact he had both on and off the field.

Finally, on January 23, 2024, Mauer was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot, becoming just the third catcher to receive that honor. This achievement solidified his status as one of the most influential and celebrated players in the history of the sport.

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