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Game 69: Royals at Twins

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Tonight, we honor the nicest of the Minnesota nice.

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

First Pitch: 6:10 pm CDT — Tune in at 5:30 for a special edition of Twins Live!

TV: FSN

Radio: TIBN

I played organized baseball for exactly one summer. During that time, I learned how to shag flies, field grounders, and look for different hobbies that better matched my skillset.

Despite my build — which any professional scout would tell you was more suited for the pitching mound, where I might have featured as a long, lanky, Lincecum-esque finesse pitcher — my primary residence was behind home plate.

Some might tell you that I was drawn to the position for its constant involvement in the game, for the unspoken conversation between myself and the pitcher, for throwing out runners and directing traffic in the infield. In truth, I was drawn to the position for its plethora of protective gear. You can never be too safe.

While I eventually wised up to my lack of athletic ability and veered onto different avenues, I will have always had a little something in common with Joe Mauer. Two Minnesotan milquetoast former catchers.

Of course, Joe got a bit further in his baseball career than I did. There’s a solid chance that he’s enshrined in Cooperstown within the next few years. Tonight, his legacy is permanently cemented into the history of the franchise, as the team officially retires his #7 jersey.

It’s a number that’s been in use for the organization almost non-stop since 1931 (with only small breaks in 1950 and 1955-57), and almost 100 years later, the Twins will be closing the book on this particular uniform. Despite the Lenny Greens, Scotty Ullgers, Greg Gagnes and Denny Hockings of the world, #7 is Joe Mauer’s to lay claim to.

It should be a grand night at the ballpark, with loads of familiar faces around the park, on the field, and in the broadcast booth. Don’t miss it!

Congratulations, Joe!

Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

TODAY’S LINEUPS

Today's Lineups

ROYALS TWINS
Whit Merrifield - RF Max Kepler - CF
Adalberto Mondesi - SS Jorge Polanco - SS
Alex Gordon - LF Nelson Cruz - DH
Jorge Soler - DH Eddie Rosario - LF
Lucas Duda - 1B Mitch Garver - C
Cheslor Cuthbert - 3B Marwin Gonzalez - RF
Nicky Lopez - 2B C.J. Cron - 1B
Martin Maldonado - C Ehire Adrianza - 3B
Billy Hamilton - CF Jonathan Schoop - 2B

No Buxton or Sano this evening, with the former taking an off-day after being struck in the wrist by a pitch last night.

Tonight it’ll be ace Jake Odorizzi looking both for his 10th win, and to lower his ERA below the already-tiny 1.92 mark it’s currently at. He’ll face Glenn Sparkman of the Royals to start.