Thursday night was a special one for the Twins and their hometown son, Joe Mauer, as he smacked another one of those singles up the middle for the 2000th hit of his career. Mauer is only the third player to get 2000 hits in a Twins uniform, along with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and the team’s all-time hits leader, Kirby Puckett.
Joe even got his 2000th hit off some White Sox guy literally named Bummer.
The hit also drove in the third and fourth runs of the game for the Twins, saving us all from another Fernando Rodney experience. It’s like you couldn’t have scripted it better.
Not to sound to Mauer-y myself, but it was really special. If you thought there would be any small contingent of the “boo Mauer!!!11” people there in the crowd, I can assure you there was not. All of the fans were chanting “LET’S! GO! JOE!” and gave him a hearty standing ovation when the hit finally came. The Target Field sound system blasted Joe’s signature walk-up music — T.I.’s “What you know” — as the rest of the team tipped their hats to Joe and Joe tipped his hat to the fans. After the inning ended, Joe stayed on the field by himself at first base as the fans gave him another ovation. The jumbotron camera zoomed up on his face and he sure looked like he was crying. It wasn’t like a full-blown, Jack Morris-any-time-he-talks-about-the-Hall-of-Fame sob fest, but the emotion was very palpable.
I’ve only seen Joe Mauer cry once before. It was during the press conference after he signed his eight-year, $184 million contract before the 2010 season. It was when he talked about how lucky he felt to be able to wear a Twins uniform for the rest of his career, because his family could watch him. His voice cracked, and you could see it coming. His family means too much to him, and sure enough, they were all there Thursday watching him too: his mom, his dad, his grandparents, his wife, and god knows who else. Joe — this is your dream.
Mauer gave an emotional post game interview as well:
Mauer was happy to notch his 2,000th career hit in front of family, friends and fans at Target Field.— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) April 13, 2018
"It's pretty special!" pic.twitter.com/1UegCOI1pw
Some of you may not think 2000 hits is very special — after all, it’s not 3000 hits. To you people, I say: bite me. Mauer was a catcher for more than half his career, meaning he got many days off, and furthermore, it’s hard to get 3000 hits when you walk all the damn time.
I mean, Mauer is only, what? The 287th player in MLB history to reach at least 2000 hits? That’s fewer than the number of no-hitters that have ever been thrown in the majors (296).
This really was pretty special. Congrats, Joe.
And a bit about Joe’s first hit and the Timberwolves. (After all, Joe was an accomplished basketball player in high school, but he was only all-state, not all-country like he was in baseball and football.)