Joe Mauer

Joseph Patrick Mauer (born April 19, 1983), is an American former professional baseball catcher, designated hitter, and first baseman, who spent his entire 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the Minnesota Twins. Mauer is the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles, and the only catcher to ever win a batting title in the American League (AL). He also won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards (2008–2010), and the 2009 AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award.[1]

Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer in 2017 (34025539223)
Mauer with the Twins in 2017
Catcher / First baseman
Born: April 19, 1983 (age 36)
St. Paul, Minnesota
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 5, 2004, for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2018, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
Batting average.306
Hits2,123
Home runs143
Runs batted in923
Teams
Career highlights and awards

High school career

Mauer played football, basketball, and baseball for St. Paul's Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders.[2][3] In his senior year he became the only athlete ever to be selected as the USA Today High School Player of the Year in two sports (football in 2000 as a quarterback and baseball in 2001 as a catcher).[4]

In December 2009, Sports Illustrated magazine included Mauer in its article on ten "signature" moments in U.S. high-school sports in the 2000–2009 decade, referring to his selection by the Minnesota Twins as the first pick in the 2001 amateur draft.[5]

Baseball

Mauer attended the same high school as Baseball Hall of Famer and former Milwaukee Brewer Paul Molitor who later became his major league manager with the Twins.[6] Molitor has said that Mauer "has the best swing he had ever seen".[7] Jim O'Neill, Mauer's baseball coach at Cretin-Derham Hall, said his former student "has been groomed for this job since he was a little boy. Mauer's dad, Jake, created a contraption for Joe he later named the 'Quickswing.' The device dropped balls down a tube from eye level and released them at waist level." Mauer had been asked to leave his T-ball league at the age of four, because he was hitting the ball too hard for the other players.[8] "Another guy that came from Cretin-Derham Hall, Paul Molitor, was very similar, [and] had a good short swing," O'Neill said. "And they're both able to wait on the ball so long because they don't have the big swing. Like anything, you keep simple and keep it small or short, there's not a lot of holes in it and not a lot of room for errors."[9]

A stand-out in baseball, Mauer struck out only once during his four-year high school career, and hit .605 during his senior season.[7][10][11] Years later, Mauer laughingly told an interviewer: "I can remember the time I did strike out. It was junior year, and it was in the state tournament. I came back to the bench and everybody thought something was wrong with me."[8] Mauer's high school batting average exceeded .500 every year.[9] He also set a Minnesota high school record and tied the national preps mark by hitting a home run in seven consecutive games.[6] Mauer caught for the Team USA Junior National team from 1998 to 2000 and hit .595 during his final year on the team. He was voted best hitter at the World Junior Baseball Championship in Canada in 2000. In 2001, Mauer was voted the United States District V Player of the Year.

Basketball

Mauer averaged more than 20 points a game as a point guard for Cretin-Derham Hall.[9] He was also named to the All-State team during his final two years on Cretin-Derham's basketball team.[12]

Football

Mauer had an accomplished high school football career. In 2000, he appeared in the Faces in the Crowd section in Sports Illustrated. During his senior season as the Raiders' quarterback, Mauer completed 178 of 269 passes (66% completion percentage), for 3,022 yards, 41 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.[13] He finished his two-year career as a starter with 5,528 yards and 73 touchdowns,[7] leading the Raiders to two consecutive Class 5A State Championship Game appearances and winning the title in 1999, the Raiders' first of all time.

Mauer was honored as the 2001 Gatorade National Player of the Year, was named to the USA Today All-USA high school football team, was honored as USA Today's Player of the Year, was a Reebok/ESPN High School All-American, and was awarded Player of the Year for the game that would go on to be known as the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Mauer was also named National High School Quarterback of the Year in 2000 by The National Quarterback Club.[12]

Professional career

JoeMauerTwins
Joe Mauer's number 7 was retired by the Minnesota Twins in 2019.

After committing to play football at Florida State University, Mauer ultimately decided instead to enter the Major League Baseball Draft.[12] Mauer was selected by the Twins as the first overall pick of the 2001 draft, ahead of college pitcher Mark Prior, who was taken second overall by the Chicago Cubs.[14] Mauer was part of the United States' roster at the 2003 All-Star Futures Game at U.S. Cellular Field before being promoted to the Twins' roster in 2004 after his predecessor, A. J. Pierzynski, was traded to the San Francisco Giants, in the 2003 offseason.

Mauer went 2-for-3 in his Major League debut, hitting a single off Rafael Betancourt of the Cleveland Indians for his first major-league hit. A knee injury to his left medial meniscus on April 7, 2004, required surgery and sidelined Mauer for more than a month. After a rehabilitation stint with the Twins' AAA affiliate Rochester Red Wings, Mauer returned to the Twins' lineup in June. In July, pain and swelling in his knee forced an early end to Mauer's 2004 season. Following his injury-shortened 2004, Mauer signed a contract for $5.7 million with the Twins on January 24, 2005. In 2005, Mauer returned to the Twins' lineup for his first full major league season and had 144 hits in 131 games, with 9 home runs and 55 RBI. He ended the year with an average of .294.

2006–2008

Joe Mauer (2311212559)
Mauer swings the bat during a game in September 2006

In his 2006 season, Mauer became the first catcher in American League history to lead the American League in batting average, finishing with an average of .347.[15] Mauer's performance during the months of May and June garnered attention from the national media. He recorded a .528 batting average over the first ten days of June and hit .452 over the course of the month.[16] He was also the first player since Mike Piazza in 1997 to reach base four or more times for five consecutive games.[17] On June 12, Mauer was named the American League Player of the Week by Major League Baseball for his performance the week of June 4–11, during which he hit .625 (15-for-24) with 5 doubles, 4 RBI and 2 stolen bases.[18]

Mauer recorded his first five RBI game June 26, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.[16] Mauer followed that up with his first career five-hit game on June 27, also against the Los Angeles Dodgers.[16] He was also named MLB Player of the Month for June after batting .452 with a .624 slugging percentage and .528 on-base percentage, 11 doubles, 14 RBI and 18 runs. Along with Johan Santana (Pitcher of the Month) and Francisco Liriano (Rookie of the Month), Mauer was part of the first-ever single-team sweep of MLB's three monthly awards.[19] On July 2, Mauer was selected by the players to his first All-Star Game.[20] Mauer appeared on the cover of the August 7, 2006 issue of Sports Illustrated.[21]

Mauer finished the 2006 regular season with a .347 batting average, edging the New York Yankees' Derek Jeter and Robinson Canó to win the American League batting title and become the first-ever American League catcher to win the crown and the first catcher to claim the title since Ernie Lombardi in 1942 with the Boston Braves. His .347 average was the highest in the Major Leagues, a feat not achieved by the previous three catchers to win NL batting titles.[15][22] He was the youngest player to win a batting title since Alex Rodriguez in 1996.[22] After going 2-for-4 in the last game of the 2006 regular season, Mauer confessed to reporters, "When I told you I wasn't thinking about the batting title? I was lying. I've never been that nervous in my life. I haven't felt anything like that since Opening Day as a rookie." Mauer won his first Silver Slugger Award in 2006, along with teammate Justin Morneau.[23]

AAAA7323 Joe Mauer
Mauer during the 2008 season

On February 11, 2007, Mauer agreed to a four-year, $34 million contract with the Twins to avoid arbitration. The deal ensured that Mauer would remain in Minnesota long enough to play in the Twins' Target Field in 2010.[24] On July 21, Mauer hit his first career inside-the-park home run against Angels pitcher Scot Shields. It was his fifth home run of the season, and there were two players on base when he hit the homer. It was the first inside-the-park home run by a catcher since Kelly Stinnett did it for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2005.[25]

In 2008, Mauer became the first American League catcher to win the batting title twice when he led the AL with an average of .328. On July 6, Mauer was announced as the starting catcher for the American League in the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[26] Mauer underwent surgery for kidney obstruction on December 22. Mauer won his first Gold Glove award in 2008, announced on November 6.[27] He finished fourth in the balloting for American League Most Valuable Player, behind Dustin Pedroia, Justin Morneau, and Kevin Youkilis.[28]

2009

Joe Mauer (3512266722)
Mauer in 2009

In 2009, he became the first catcher to lead the league in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage in a single year, and the first player to lead the American League in all three since George Brett did so in 1980. Mauer's .365 average, which is the highest mark among catchers (with at least 3.1 plate appearances per game) since 1901, and the highest by a Twin since Rod Carew's .388 in 1977, led Major League Baseball.[29][30] Mauer also won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2009.[31] Mauer was named the American League's 2009 MVP by a near-unanimous decision (27 out of 28 first place votes).[32]

On March 11, Mauer was diagnosed with inflammation in the sacroiliac joint by team doctors following a magnetic resonance arthrogram. He was unable to take part in team workouts during spring training due to the pain in his lower back, which he first began experiencing late in the 2008 season.[33] Mauer missed the start of the 2009 regular season and returned on May 1. He went 2 for 3 with an RBI and three runs scored in his first game back, hitting a home run on his first swing of the season.[34]

He returned May 1, and had the best month of his career. Mauer hit 11 home runs and drove in 32 RBI, becoming the first-ever Twins player to reach that mark in a single month. During the week of May 18–24, Mauer led the major leagues in batting average at .458 (11–24), RBI with 13, and runs scored with 12, also hitting 4 HR and accumulating 25 total bases. On May 26, he was named MLB Player of the Week for his performance.[35] Through the month of May, Mauer lead the major leagues in AVG at .414, OBP at .500, and SLG at .838, in addition to his HR and RBI totals, earning him his second Player of the Month Award honors.[36] Mauer appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for a second time on June 24. An additional 25,000 copies of the magazine were sent to Minnesota for the occasion.[37] He was selected to the 2009 MLB All Star Game as the starting catcher and participated in the Home Run Derby, losing a tiebreaker to Albert Pujols in the first round.

The Twins trailed the Detroit Tigers by seven games in the American League Central division at the start of September, but rallied, winning 17 of their last 21 games to finish the season tied atop the division. On October 6, the Twins beat the Tigers 6–5 in Game 163, a 12 inning one-game playoff, to secure the division title.[38] In 2009 Mauer led the American League in batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.587), and OPS (1.031)[39] Mauer became the first catcher to lead the league in all four offensive categories in a single season, and the first catcher to win three batting titles.[40]

He had won as many batting championships in a span of four years as all other Major League catchers in the history of baseball through 2009 combined. Two National League catchers had won a total of three batting titles: Eugene "Bubbles" Hargrave in 1926, and Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi in 1938 and 1942 (Buster Posey would go on to win it in 2012).[41] On October 29, Baseball America named Mauer its 2009 Major League Player of the Year.[42] On November 23 Mauer was named the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, with 27 of 28 first place votes. This made Mauer the third catcher in 33 years to win the AL MVP.[43]

2010–2012

On March 21, 2010, Mauer agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Twins worth $184 million which took effect in the 2011 and ran through the 2018 season.[44][45] It was the richest contract paid to a catcher in the history of Major League Baseball.[46] On July 26, 2010, Mauer hit a home run and drove in a career-high seven runs in the Twins' 19-1 win over the rival Kansas City Royals. He hit his 1,000th career Major League hit on September 14, 2010 against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Mauer underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after the 2010 season, and missed most of spring training due to a difficult recovery from the operation.[47] After further difficulties during the first days of the season, he was placed on the disabled list immediately after the Twins' game on April 15.[48] Team doctors believed his problem, termed a "bilateral leg weakness", was due to too light a workload during spring training.[49] Mauer returned to game action as a designated hitter in extended spring training on May 25,[50] and made his first post-DL appearance as a catcher in another extended spring training game on June 2.[47] The following week, he went on a further rehabilitation assignment to the Twins' Class A affiliate, the Fort Myers Miracle, a team managed by his older brother Jake.[50] After Mauer caught several games with the Miracle, it was speculated he could return to the Twins as early as June 16 or 17, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire did not commit to a return date.[51] Joe Mauer returned to play with the Minnesota Twins on June 17, 2011 and received a standing ovation from the fans.[52]

He made his first Major League start at first base on July 7, 2011 in Chicago, where he turned the first ball hit to him into an unassisted double play. In all he had 13 putouts and 2 assists and went 3-for-5 at the plate with 2 RBI in a 6–2 victory over the White Sox.[53] On August 18, 2011 Mauer played his first game in right field. He had 3 putouts and went 1-for-3 with 1 RBI in an 8 to 4 Twins loss against the New York Yankees.[54]

Mauer struggled the entire summer with various ailments, from complications due to surgery at the beginning of the season to a bout of pneumonia at the end of the season, and had undoubtedly the worst season of his career. He played in only 82 games all year (career 126 average per season, not counting the 35 games he played in 2004), batted only .287 (career .323), and caught only 52 games.[55] He hoped to return to form in 2012.[56]

At the start of spring training, Mauer expressed strong dissatisfaction with the previous season, saying "I've kind of been answering...questions [about last season] all winter, and it left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths, and mine included, but it's a new year, and as soon as we can forget about 2011, the better, and focus on not letting it happen again." [57] On July 1, it was announced that he would be headed for his fifth All-Star Game. Mauer's batting average was .325 in the first half of the season, including 4 homers and 36 RBI.[58] By mid-July, Mauer had the second highest batting average in the American League.[59] On August 27, Mauer played his 832nd game at catcher for the Twins, breaking a franchise record set by Earl Battey.[60]

2013–2018

Mauer was the Twins' Opening Day catcher, with Ryan Doumit as his backup, and also saw time at first base and designated hitter. Through the first half, he hit .320 with 8 HR, 32 RBI and 50 runs including consecutive 4-hit games against the Angels in April and a 15-game hitting streak from April 30 to May 18. He was named to his 6th All-Star Game as the starting catcher. On August 20, Mauer went on the 7-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms. In his absence, Doumit, Chris Herrmann and Josmil Pinto started at catcher. Mauer never returned to line-up and his season ended after 113 games. For the season, he hit .324/.404/.476 with 11 HR, 47 RBI, 62 runs, 35 doubles and 61 walks, while earning the 2013 AL Silver Slugger Award at catcher. He and former Yankee Horace Clarke are the only hitters ever to break up three no-hitter bids in the ninth inning.[61]

18August2018JoeMauer7
Mauer in 2018

After the 2013 season, the Twins announced that Mauer would permanently move to first base in order to protect their star player from further concussions and the day-to-day physical wear of being a major league catcher.[62] In 2014, Mauer played in 120 games, compiling a slash line of .277/.361/.371 with 4 HR, 55 RBI, 60 runs, and 27 doubles.

Mauer struck out over 100 times for the first time in his career in 2015. Mauer set career marks in games played (158), plate appearances (666) and at bats (592). He finished the year with 10 HR and 66 RBI. Mauer finished the 2016 season with a career low .261 batting average in 134 games for the Twins despite improving his defense, committing only 2 errors all season at first base.

Mauer started his 13th Opening Day in 2017, tying with Harmon Killebrew for the franchise record.[63] For the season, Mauer batted .305 with an .801 OPS.

On April 12, 2018, Mauer became the 287th player in the history of Major League Baseball to collect 2000 hits with a two-run 7th inning single off White Sox pitcher Aaron Bummer.[64]

In the 9th inning of the last game of the 2018 MLB season on September 30, 2018 at Target Field, amidst speculation that he would retire at the end of the year, Mauer made an appearance as catcher for the first time since his concussion in 2013, before being removed for backup Chris Gimenez after one pitch.[65] He exited to a standing ovation from the crowd and both dugouts. In his last season he batted .282/.351/.379 with 6 home runs and 48 RBIs, and led all major league hitters with a batting average of .407 with runners in scoring position, and saw the highest percentage of fastballs of all MLB hitters (63.6%).[66]

On November 9, 2018, Mauer officially retired from baseball in an open letter to Twins fans.[67][68] The Twins announced they would retire Mauer's No. 7 during the 2019 season,[69] eventually setting the date as June 15.[70]

MLB records

Mauer holds the MLB single-season records for the highest single-season batting average for catchers (.365), which he set in 2009[71] and the highest single season on-base percentage for a catcher (.444), which he also set in 2009.[72] Mauer is also the first AL catcher to win a batting title[73] and holds the record for the most batting titles by a catcher in a career (3).[74]

International career

Mauer was selected as a catcher and first baseman for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Other work

Mauer modeled for Perry Ellis in the 2004–05 off-season, and is featured in television commercials for Head & Shoulders, Pepsi, ESPN, Fox Sports Net, PlayStation 3, Gatorade and my29.[75]

Mauer's Quickswing Camp is held annually in the winter at a St. Paul area college. The camp teaches youth the basics of batting skills. Mauer taped an episode of Homecoming with Rick Reilly for ESPN on January 27, 2010 at Cretin-Derham Hall High School, his alma mater, in St. Paul, Minnesota. The episode aired on April 12, 2010.

Mauer appeared in a TV commercial for Explore Minnesota, the state tourism agency, in March 2011.[76]

Video games

Mauer was the cover athlete for Sony Computer Entertainment's MLB 10: The Show and MLB 11: The Show game for the PlayStation platform.[77]

The game's tagline, "Well played, Mauer", used by actor Jerry Lambert (playing the role of fictional vice president Kevin Butler) in television commercials promoting the game (in the ad, Mauer and Butler were playing MLB 11 and Mauer hits a home run to deep right field), was mimicked by Twins announcer Dick Bremer during a game versus the visiting Kansas City Royals on June 10, 2010. Royals outfielder Mitch Maier fouled back a pitch from Twins pitcher Brian Duensing. The ball traveled over the protective net behind the home plate area. Mauer tracked the ball, reached around the screen, and caught it, leading Bremer to exclaim, "Did he catch that? Oh, well played, Mauer!" The catch is featured in MLB 11: The Show's "Joe Mauer" introductory vignette.[78]

Mauer appeared as a playable pro in Backyard Baseball 2009.[79]

Personal life

Mauer shared a house with former Twins teammate Justin Morneau in Saint Paul, Minnesota, during the 2006 season.[80][81]

00112294 Joe Mauer
Mauer in May 2009

Mauer wore long sideburns throughout his big league career, and on August 10, 2006, the Twins held "Joe Mauer Sideburns Night" in his honor. The first 10,000 fans were given synthetic sideburns with double-sided tape to share in Mauer's trademark look.[82]

On December 11, 2011, Mauer announced his engagement to Saint Paul nurse Maddie Bisanz, his girlfriend of about 18 months and a fellow graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall High School. The couple was married on December 1, 2012, at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Saint Paul. Justin Morneau was a groomsman.[83][84][85] The Mauers' twin daughters Emily Teresa and Maren Virginia were born on July 24, 2013.[86][87] On November 14, 2018, Maddie gave birth to a son, Charles "Chip" Joseph.[88]

In 2012 Mauer bought a house in Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.[89]

Relatives

  • In the 2001 draft, the Twins also selected Joe's older brother Jake as the 677th overall pick in the 23rd round. Jake played at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul. Some observers concluded that this was an attempt to induce Joe to sign a contract, but Mike Radcliff, the scouting director of the Twins, denied this.[90] Jake Mauer ended his playing career after the 2005 season but went on to manage the Gulf Coast League Twins (Rookie Level). After winning the GCL South with the Twins in 2009, Jake moved up to the High-A Fort Myers Miracle and managed the team for two seasons. Following the Twins' agreement to add the Cedar Rapids Kernels as the team's Low-A affiliate in November 2012, Mauer was named the team's manager.[91]
  • Mauer's other brother, Billy, signed with the Twins as an undrafted free agent in 2003 and pitched in the organization for three seasons before chronic shoulder problems forced him to retire from the game. He ended his minor league career with a 3–4 record and 3.66 earned run average in 43 games. Billy now owns Mauer Chevrolet and Mauer Buick GMC, auto dealerships in the Twin Cities suburb of Inver Grove Heights.[92]
  • Joe's cousin, Ken Mauer, is a referee in the NBA.

See also

References

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External links

2001 Major League Baseball draft

The 2001 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft, was held on June 5 and 6.

2004 Minnesota Twins season

The 2004 Minnesota Twins met their goal of three-peating as American League Central Division champions. The team was able to do this in spite of several new players and the absence of three former all-stars. Closer Eddie Guardado, set-up man LaTroy Hawkins, starter Eric Milton, and catcher A. J. Pierzynski had all been dealt prior to the beginning of the season, while first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz was traded midway through the season. The season had both highs – such as Johan Santana winning the Cy Young Award – and lows, such as highly anticipated rookie catcher Joe Mauer injuring his knee and playing for only 35 games. For the second year in a row, the team was not able to carry its regular season success into the post-season. The New York Yankees eliminated the Twins for the second year in a row in four games in the 2004 American League Division Series.

2005 Minnesota Twins season

Coming into the year, the 2005 Minnesota Twins were favored to go on and win their division. However, a weak offense and injuries (most notably to Torii Hunter) prevented this from coming to fruition. This led manager Ron Gardenhire to reshuffle his coaching staff following the season. The team finished sixteen games behind the World Champion Chicago White Sox. The Twins have never won four straight division titles in their 104-year franchise history.

2006 Major League Baseball season

The 2006 Major League Baseball season ended with the National League's St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series with the lowest regular season victory total in a non-strike season in history. The American League continued its domination at the All-Star Game by winning its fourth straight game; the A.L. has won nine of the last ten contests (the 2002 game was a tie). This season, the Atlanta Braves failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1990. Individual achievements included Barry Bonds who, despite questions surrounding his alleged steroid use and involvement in the BALCO scandal, surpassed Babe Ruth for second place on the career home runs list.

2006 Minnesota Twins season

The Minnesota Twins 2006 season ended with Minnesota finishing the regular season as champions of the American League Central Division, but were swept in three games by the Oakland Athletics in the 2006 American League Division Series.

2008 Minnesota Twins season

The 2008 Minnesota Twins season was the 48th season for the franchise in Minnesota, and the 108th overall in the American League. After tying the Chicago White Sox for first in the AL Central Division with an 88–74 record, the team lost a one game playoff to finish second and miss the league playoffs.

2009 Minnesota Twins season

The 2009 Minnesota Twins season was the 49th season for the franchise in Minnesota, and the 109th overall in the American League. It was their final season at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome with their new stadium, Target Field, opening in 2010. They ended the regular season as AL Central champions after defeating the Detroit Tigers in a one game tie-breaker. They were then swept in the American League Division Series by the New York Yankees.

2010 Minnesota Twins season

The 2010 Minnesota Twins season was the 50th season for the franchise in Minnesota, and the 110th overall in the American League.

It was their first season in their new stadium, Target Field, which made its regular-season debut on April 12 as the Twins defeated the Boston Red Sox 5–2. This marked the return of outdoor professional baseball to the state of Minnesota for the first time since the end of the 1981 season, the last played at Metropolitan Stadium. 3,223,640 fans attended Twins games, setting a new franchise record.

The Twins clinched their sixth AL Central division championship in nine seasons on September 21 after a win against the Cleveland Indians and a Chicago White Sox loss. They were again swept by the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series to end the season.

2019 Minnesota Twins season

The 2019 Minnesota Twins season is the 59th season for the Minnesota Twins franchise in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, their 10th season at Target Field and the 119th overall in the American League. It is the first year under new manager Rocco Baldelli who was hired on October 25, 2018 following the firing of previous manager Paul Molitor on October 2. It is also the first season since 2004 without longtime Twin Joe Mauer on the roster, as he announced his retirement on November 9, 2018 after 15 seasons.

Gulf Coast League Twins

The Gulf Coast League Twins are the Rookie Level Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The team plays in Fort Myers, Florida, at the Lee County Sports Complex.The team is composed mainly of players who are in their first year of professional baseball either as draftees or non-drafted free agents from the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and other countries. Gulf Coast League team rosters are thirty players, and cannot have more than twelve players over twenty years old, and no more than four players over 21. No player can have more than two years of prior service, excluding Rookie leagues outside the United States and Canada.

In 1965, the team first played in the league's direct predecessor, the Florida Rookie League, as the Florida Rookie League Twins. The team suspended operations after the 1971 season, but returned to the GCL in 1989.

The GCL Twins compete in the GCL's Southern Division. In 2009, the GCL Twins won the South with a 34-21 record under manager Jake Mauer, who is the older brother of the Minnesota Twins AL MVP catcher Joe Mauer. They lost 1-0 in twelve innings to the wild card winning GCL Nationals in the one game playoff. Following the season, Mauer was promoted to manager of the Florida State League Fort Myers Miracle, and Chris Heintz took the reins for the GCL Twins. Like Mauer, Heintz was also a player in the Twins organization. He coached with the Beloit Snappers the final two months of the 2009 season. In addition to managing the GCL club, Heintz will also run the Twins' extended Spring Training.On July 25, 2010, it was announced that Tom Brunansky, member of the 1987 Twin's championship team, accepted a job to be the hitting coach for the GCL Twins and had started working early this July.

Horace Clarke

Horace Meredith Clarke (born June 2, 1940) is a former Major League Baseball player. A second baseman, he played for the New York Yankees and the San Diego Padres from 1965 to 1974.

He was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1958. He made his Major League Baseball debut on May 13, 1965 against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park; he singled off Dave Morehead in his first major league at bat. In his rookie season of 1966, Clarke, sharing shortstop duties with Tom Tresh after Tony Kubek's retirement before the start of the season, batted .266 with six home runs and 28 runs batted in. In 1967, he became the Yankees' regular second baseman upon the retirement of longtime veteran Bobby Richardson. In 10 seasons, he hit .256, with 27 home runs and 304 RBIs. In the space of one month in 1970, he broke up three possible no-hitters in the ninth inning (Jim Rooker on June 4, Sonny Siebert on June 19 and, Joe Niekro on July 2). That season, Clarke made 732 plate appearances (batting 686 times officially). As a fielder, though, the knock on Clarke was that he would not turn the double play with runners barreling in. Few ever took him out with a slide, but Clarke would hold the ball after leaping.

Clarke was sold to the San Diego Padres on May 31, 1974, for $25,000. He retired at the end of the 1974 season. After his retirement, he worked as a baseball instructor for the Virgin Islands Department of Recreation and as an assistant scout for the Kansas City Royals.

Clarke and Joe Mauer are the only hitters to break up three no-hit bids in the ninth inning.

Juan Morillo (baseball)

Juan Bautista Morillo (born November 5, 1983 in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic) is a former professional baseball pitcher. He played in the 2005 All-Star Futures Game in Detroit.

While playing with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in 2007, Morillo had a record of 6-4 in 57.1 innings pitched, with 59 strikeouts and 2.35 ERA.

Morillo has a 95-100 mph fastball, but his slider is inconsistent and his control is below average.

Morillo made the opening-day roster of the Colorado Rockies in 2009. On April 10, 2009, Morillo was designated for assignment by the Rockies to make way for Matt Belisle.

He was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins on April 17, 2009, replacing Philip Humber who was designated for assignment.

On Thursday, April 29, 2009, Morillo was designated for assignment to make room for Joe Mauer, who is coming back from a back injury suffered before spring training.

On November 17, 2009, Morillo signed to play with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League.

Morillo opened the 2012 season with Double-A Reading.

On November 2015, he was selected to the roster for the Dominican Republic national baseball team at the 2015 WBSC Premier12.

Laz Díaz

Lazaro Antonio Díaz Sr. (born March 29, 1963) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. He joined the American League's full-time staff in 1999, and has worked in both major leagues since 2000.

His professional umpiring career began after he attended the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in 1991. He worked his way up to the International League for the 1995 season. Díaz was one of the 22 umpires promoted to the major leagues in the wake of the Major League Umpires Association's mass-resignation strategy in July 1999. Prior to his professional umpiring career, he served in the Marine Corps Reserves. Díaz was attacked by an intoxicated fan while umpiring first base in a game at Comiskey Park in April 2003. The fan, Eric Dybas, a self-described Cubs fan, had attended a game at Wrigley Field earlier in the day and had been drinking all day. Laz easily stifled the attack, and the fan was later sentenced to up to 180 days in jail and one month of probation for aggravated battery.Díaz was the second base umpire when Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's career home run record. On July 23, 2009, Díaz was the third base umpire for Mark Buehrle's perfect game.

He has worked the World Series in 2007 and 2017, the American League Championship Series in 2009, 2015, and 2016, and the Division Series in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2013, and 2014. He also umpired the All-Star Game in 2000 and 2010.

Díaz is featured in Pepsi commercials with the Detroit Tigers' Johnny Damon, the Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer and broadcaster Gary Thorne.

On Sunday March 7, 2010, Díaz was inducted to the Cuban Hall of Fame.

During a game on May 30, 2012, Díaz got into an unusual argument with New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin. According to Martin, Díaz punished the catcher for disputing the strike zone by not letting him throw new baseballs out to the pitcher (a preference of Martin's) and claiming that this ability had to be "earned." MLB Executive VP for Baseball Operations Joe Torre spoke to Díaz and Martin about the incident, but Martin said he does not expect any disciplinary action for either man.MLB selected Diaz to officiate its 2014 Opening Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia from March 20–23, 2014.

List of Major League Baseball players who spent their entire career with one franchise

The following is a list of former Major League Baseball (MLB) players who played in at least ten MLB seasons and spent their entire MLB playing careers exclusively with one franchise. In most cases, this means the player only appeared with one team; there are also players whose team was relocated (e.g. the Athletics) or had a name change (e.g. the Angels) during their career. Some listed players subsequently went on to coach or manage with other teams, or may have had minor league appearances with other franchises.

As of November 2018, 178 players have accomplished this feat, of which the New York Yankees have had the most, with 25. Bid McPhee and Mike Tiernan, both of whom played exclusively in the 19th century, were the first two players to complete the feat. Brooks Robinson and Carl Yastrzemski share the distinction of the longest tenure with a single team, 23 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, respectively. Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins, who announced his retirement on November 9, 2018, is the most recent player to complete a career of at least ten seasons with one team.

List of Minnesota Twins first-round draft picks

The Minnesota Twins are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the American League Central division. Since the institution of MLB's Rule 4 Draft, the Twins have selected 68 players in the first round. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is MLB's primary mechanism for assigning players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur clubs to its franchises. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks.Of the 68 players picked in the first round by Minnesota, 30 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 22 of these were right-handed, while 8 were left-handed. Twelve outfielders were selected, while eleven shortstops, seven third basemen, four catchers, three first basemen and one player at second base were taken as well. Thirteen of the players came from high schools or universities in the state of California, and Florida follows with nine players. The Twins have drafted six players from Arizona, including five players from Arizona State University.Two of the Twins' first-round picks have won championships with the franchise. Willie Banks (1987) and Chuck Knoblauch (1989) won a World Series title on the 1991 championship team. Knoblauch is also the only first-round draft pick of the Twins to win the MLB Rookie of the Year award, taking home the award in 1991. None of their first-round picks have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Catcher Joe Mauer (2001) won the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player award, the only first-round pick of the Twins to win the award. Mauer has also won three Silver Slugger Awards, two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, and is the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles.The Twins have made 16 selections in the supplemental round of the draft and have made the first overall selection twice (1983 and 2001). They have also had 18 compensatory picks since the institution of the First-Year Player Draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the previous off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. The Twins have six times failed to sign their first-round pick. Eddie Leon (1965), Dick Ruthven (1972), Jamie Allen (1976), and Tim Belcher (1983) all failed to sign with the Twins without the team receiving compensation. The Twins did, however, receive a compensatory pick when they failed to sign Jason Varitek (1993). Varitek did not sign and instead chose to enter the draft again the following year and was taken by the Seattle Mariners. Additionally, Travis Lee, the Twins' only selection in 1996 and the second-overall pick of that draft, did not sign with the team. Lee's agent, Scott Boras, did not communicate with the Twins for the first two weeks after the draft and then invoked a rarely used rule that a team was required to make a contract offer within 15 days of the draft or relinquish their rights to the player. As a result, Lee and 3 other 1996 first-round picks who were Boras clients were granted free agency and he ultimately signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at catcher

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage (OBP), in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Among catchers, Mike Piazza has won the most Silver Slugger Awards, with ten consecutive wins in the National League between 1993 and 2002; this is the most Silver Sluggers won consecutively by any player in Major League Baseball. In the American League, Iván Rodríguez has won the most Silver Sluggers, with six consecutive wins from 1994 to 1999, and a seventh when he tied with Víctor Martínez in 2004. Lance Parrish won the American League award six times (1980, 1982–1984, 1986, and 1990), and Joe Mauer and Jorge Posada have won it five times; Mauer won in 2006, 2008–2010 and 2013, while Posada won in 2000–2003 and 2007. Hall of Famer Gary Carter (1981–1983, 1984–1986) and Brian McCann (2006, 2008-2011) are five-time winners in the National League. Other multiple awardees include Buster Posey (four wins; 2012, 2014–2015, 2017), Benito Santiago (four wins; 1987–1988, 1990–1991), Mickey Tettleton (three wins; 1989, 1991–1992) and Carlton Fisk (three wins; 1981, 1985, 1988). J. T. Realmuto and Salvador Pérez are the most recent National and American League winners, respectively.

Piazza holds several Major League records for catchers in a Silver Slugger-winning season; most were set in 1997. That season, he had an on-base percentage of .431, and had 124 runs batted in (a total he matched in 1999) to lead the award-winning catchers in those statistical categories. Javy López holds the Major League records among winners for home runs (43) and slugging percentage (.687); these were set in 2003. Mauer holds the Major League record in batting average with a .365 clip he set in 2009. Mauer also leads the American League in on-base percentage (.444 in 2009) and slugging percentage (.587 in 2009). Parrish batted in 114 runs in 1983, and Fisk hit 37 home runs in 1985.

Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins are an American professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team competes in the Central division of the American League (AL), and is named after the Twin Cities area comprising Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The franchise was originated in 1894 as the Kansas City Blues in the Western League and elevated to Major League status in 1901, the year the team moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Senators. The team relocated again to Minnesota and was renamed the Twins at the start of the 1961 season. The Twins played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome from 1982 to 2009. The team played its inaugural game at Target Field on April 12, 2010. The franchise won the World Series in 1924 as the Senators, and in 1987 and 1991 as the Twins.

Through the 2017 season, the team has fielded 18 American League batting champions. The team has hosted five All-Star Games: 1937 and 1956 in Washington, D.C, and 1965, 1985 and 2014 in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Minnesota Twins award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Minnesota Twins professional baseball team.

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Miguel Olivo
Topps Rookie All-Star Catcher
2004
Succeeded by
Brian McCann
Preceded by
Alex Rodriguez
Evan Longoria
American League Player of the Month
June 2006
May 2009
Succeeded by
David Ortiz
B. J. Upton

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