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Twins' Joe Mauer to announce retirement

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's official. Joe Mauer, the only player to win three straight batting titles as a catcher, will announce his retirement Sunday, Nov. 11, after 15 years in the major leagues, all of them with his hometown Minnesota Twins. There wa...

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Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer salutes the fans after the game against Chicago White Sox Sept. 30 at Target Field. Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's official.

Joe Mauer, the only player to win three straight batting titles as a catcher, will announce his retirement Sunday, Nov. 11, after 15 years in the major leagues, all of them with his hometown Minnesota Twins.

There was wide speculation that Mauer, 35, would retire at the end of the 2018 season. In the final game of the season, the Twins gave Mauer the MVP treatment, complete with the first baseman making his first appearance at catcher -- for one pitch -- since 2013.

Mauer was known for a sweet swing that drew consistent contact -- he is a career .306 hitter who averaged 185 hits per season.

He's also known for the concussions and other injuries he sustained through his team-record eight-year, $184 million contract that forced one of the game's top defensive backstops to move to first base.

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“After much consideration I have decided to retire from playing baseball,” Mauer wrote in his retirement announcement . "This decision did not come easily as baseball always has been, and always will be, one of my greatest passions. The last few months of this season were very emotional for me and I wanted to take time to separate some of those emotions and think with a clear frame of mind.

"The decision came down to my health and my family. 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. That's all it took this time around and it was all I needed to bring me back to the struggles I faced in 2013. The concussion I experienced that season not only changed my life professionally with a move to first base but changed me personally as well. I am soon to be a father of three and I find myself thinking about my future health and its impact on my family more than I had years ago. People always told me how much things change when you become a parent, and they were right. After my concussion this season I found myself wondering about 'what if' situations. If I were to continue playing this game I would want to do so without reservation and I no longer feel that is possible. There is a small part of me that will always want to compete, but I have reached a point where my desire to play is outweighed by the possibility of another injury. Experiencing a concussion looks different for everyone, but my personal experience forced me to look beyond baseball at what is best for me as a husband and father."

Mauer goes on to say “Thank you, Minnesota Twins, and thank you, fans, for making my career as special and memorable as it was. Because of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grateful heart.”

111018.S.STP.MAUER1.JPG
Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer follows through on a home run swing during the first inning of an exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, April 3, 2009. Forum News Service file photo

111018.S.STP.MAUER1.JPG
Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer follows through on a home run swing during the first inning of an exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, April 3, 2009. Forum News Service file photo

Robb Jeffries (he/him) is the Night Editor for InForum.com and The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Robb can be reached at rjeffries@forumcomm.com.
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