In a move surprising perhaps only for its rapidity, the Minnesota Twins announced this morning that Joe Mauer’s number seven would be retired in a ceremony during the 2019 season.
Well, technically Kent Hrbek announced it. From one born-and-bred Minnesota sports hero to another, Hrbie delivered the news onstage at a Cretin-Durham Hall ceremony this morning, joined by fellow retired numberites Bert Blyleven, Tony Oliva, and Tom Kelly.
Mauer, of course, was a 15-year veteran of the team, and finished his career in the top 10 of many franchise leaderboards. With his retirement goes his number seven jersey, previously worn by Twins such as base-coach-to-be Scott Ullger, two-time world champion Greg Gagne, and Dark Ages utility infielder Denny Hocking.
As if that weren’t enough, outgoing Governor Mark Dayton issued a proclamation making December 18th, 2018 “Joe Mauer Day.”
The fanbase is already rife with speculation about what this announcement means for next season. Some think part of the Gate 6 entrance at Target Field will be repurposed as a new Gate 7. And July 7th, a Sunday home game, has already been noted as a potential destination for the yet-to-be-announced retirement ceremony.
No matter what happens next, today marks a very special day for Joe Mauer and the rest of Twins Territory. At just 35 years old, Joe has officially cemented his place as a true Minnesota Twins immortal.