Joe Mauer announces retirement in letter to fans

Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer doffs his helmet after a curtain call following his his grand slam off New York Yankees pitcher Tommy Kahnle in the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday Sept. 11 2018 in Minneapolis

Joe Mauer in one of his final at-bats of the 2018 season and ultimately his career. All fifteen years of his career, Mauer played for the Twins and he has officially announced that he's calling it quits. The risk of concussion is always there, and I was reminded of that this season after missing over 30 games as a result of diving for a foul ball. "Because of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grateful heart".

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 MLB June Amateur Draft hit.282 with six home runs and 48 RBIs in 127 games this season for the Twins.

Over 15 years with the Twins, the 35-year-old infielder holds a lifetime.306/.388/.439 batting line, six All-Star designations, three Gold Gloves, five Silver Sluggers and the 2009 AL MVP award. The St. Paul native and Cretin-Derham Hall grad spent his entire career with the Twins, serving as the team's long-time catcher until 2013, when he was moved to first base, a move brought on by a concussion.

While his athleticism - he had a scholarship waiting for him to play quarterback at Florida State and was a sharpshooting guard on the basketball team in high school - allowed for a relatively smooth transition on defense, the effects of the head injury robbed him of his prowess at the plate for most of the next three years. Being able to do that for a brief moment as a catcher, made that day even more incredible than I could have imagined.

He won his first batting crown in 2006 with a.347 average, and won the title again two seasons later when he hit.328.

Still, the former backstop turned first baseman had quite the career. In fact, they made the AL wild card game just last season, only to fall to the New York Yankees.

On top of his esteemed career, Mauer was consistently known as a classy, respectful ballplayer, appreciating the game around and always playing the game the right way.

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