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Opinion

Twins fans celebrate Joe Mauer’s record-breaking contract extension

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March 24, 2010

Joe Mauer is here to stay. On March 21, Mauer signed an eight-year, $184 million dollar contract to keep him with the Minnesota Twins through 2018. 

While I personally never thought he would sign with the overpaid villains of New York, I couldn’t help but to bask in the future glory that lies ahead for Mauer and the Twins.

Mauer’s contract is the largest ever for a catcher and ranks fourth all-time.

But what this means for the Twins, who have had a hard time keeping stars due to the free-spending teams such as Boston and New York, is that they are committed to building a championship club with Mauer as the face of the organization, by taking big strides to compete with the “big boys.”

The Twins have done remarkably well given their small market expenditures and have consistently been in contention, taking pride in the fact that they “play the game the right way.” 

Joe Mauer represents all that is good with baseball, and all that is good with the Twins. And so, this column is a tribute to the accomplishments that have already come for the St. Paul native, and the things that surely are to come.

According to the Twins Web site, “In his breakout 2006 season, Mauer became the first catcher in major league history to lead the majors in batting average and the first American League catcher to win the batting title, finishing with an average of .347.

In 2008, he became the first American League catcher to win the batting title twice when he led the AL with an average of .328; Mauer also won his first Gold Glove Award. In 2009 Mauer lead the American League in batting average (.365), on-base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.587), and OPS (1.031).

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. Mauer also won his second consecutive Gold Glove in 2009.

Mauer was also named the American League’s 2009 MVP by a near-unanimous decision (27 out of 28 first place votes).” 

His swing has been touted as the sweetest in baseball, and it’s not hard to see why, Mauer has won as many batting titles in a four-year span as all MLB catchers combined.

Mauer will be 35 when his contract is up in 2018, and if he keeps doing what he’s been doing, he will turn Minnesota into the land of 10,000 hits (ok maybe not that many). 

The Twins open their 2010 campaign on April 5th against the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim and their first game at Target Field is slated for April 12th against the Boston Red Sox.

Whether fans will be wearing hats and mittens to the game or sunglasses and shorts (the Minnesota weather can be as unpredictable as a game of baseball), one thing will remain for years to come: the sideburns and sweat swing of a boy Minnesota can proudly call their own, Joe Mauer.

Ashley Goettl is an alumna of UW-River Falls. She was editor of the Student Voice from fall semester 2011 to spring semester 2013.