While Twins fans cringe...nightly, it’s nice to have fun events to look forward to. The Joe Mauer charity event was a success, raking in nearly $350,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Speaking of raking, Trevor Plouffe hit a slowpitch softball with a wooden bat halfway up the third deck in left field. He won. Also, it was his birthday.
Let’s talk about how the now 35-year-old looked at the plate. He showed up in his Cali. shorts and hit missiles.
If it wasn’t a home run, it was still hit square. After seeing this performance, I think this guy should have represented the Twins in an actual MLB Home Run Derby.
On the day, he hit 23 home runs beating Joe Mauer in the championship round. (See rest of results at the bottom of this post.)
Plouffe was known for hitting bombs with the Twins, at least in my head. His overall batting numbers weren’t great, but he was good for hitting a few homers. He hit 24 in 2012 in only 119 games played. He hit 22 in 2015. Why am I sharing this? I don’t know, just after Tuesday Dozier made me feel about him like I did in 2014 when he was in the Home Run Derby at Target Field. Meh, two home runs. Same with Morneau that year.
Random facts about some of these guys' home run derby experience: The 2014 MLB All-Star Home Run Derby was at Target Field, both Brian Dozier and Justin Morneau competed. Justin was with the Rockies. Both only hit two home runs. Jim Thome was in a home run derby once in the 90s and actually got skunked. The guy hit 52 one season, has the longest-standing homer at Target Field, and didn’t hit a single one out in the 1997 MLB Home Run Derby. Mauer competed in the 2009 derby and hit five at Busch Stadium. Justin won it all in 2008, but was outshined by Josh Hamilton’s 28 homers in the first round. Win’s a win though, that was at Yankee Stadium.
Anyway, let’s take a closer look at just how successful Tuesday’s home run derby was. Joe Mauer was able to get 16 guys to join him in his quest to raise funds for Gillette Children’s.
All the players who participated are listed in my previous article. Corey Koskie was a late-entry.
It was fun to see all the players, but it was even more fun to see how important to them it was to raise this money. It was such a friendly competition. Well, except for Nick Punto—he was out for blood... in a friendly way. He actually did extremely well, making it to the third round but got eliminated by Morneau. Punto had 19 homers in his career. He hit 13 at Target Field for charity Tuesday.
Earlier in the week Joe mentioned kids from the hospital were not going to be able to make it to the game because of the pandemic. However, that must have changed slightly because some were there.
“There’s been great videos and some of the patients were able to come out today. Hopefully moving into the future, we can get more of the patients out here,” Joe said.
“I think this first go of it was pretty good,” Mauer said.
Earlier this week we also posed the question as to why others weren’t competing, like Torii Hunter.
“There’s a lot of guys who wanted to make it out but just couldn’t make it work,” Mauer said.
Someone who could make it work is Trevor Plouffe. Trevor said anytime Joe asks him if he can join him for a special cause, he is there.
Joe did have some words for Trevor after his victory.
“Sorry to interrupt,” classic Minnesota-nice Joe.
All in all, it was a fantastic showing, and if you have kids at home, bring them to the next one. Not only does 100% of your ticket go to a worthy cause, but your child will also have a blast trying to catch home runs. Plus, if they do catch one, the ball they get will likely already be autographed by one of the athletes competing. I know if I were to attend something like this as a child, I would have loved it.
One final takeaway from this event: Joe Mauer is a really, really good guy.
Joe Mauer DID take a pitch at the plate.
Nick Punto DID find a way to slide headfirst. He did so into home when he was introduced.
Round 1 - 13 Swings
Dozier 2, Perkins 1, Kubel 5, Nathan 3, Parise 1, Duensing 2, Thome 1, Parrish 1, Jones 7, Morneau 4, Mastroianni 2, Plouffe 6, Greenway 1, Punto 6, Koskie 1, Dr. Cooper 0, Mauer 3
Round 2 - 10 Swings
Dozier 2 (4), Perkins 1 (2), Kubel 3 (8), Nathan 1 (4), Parise 1 (2), Duensing 0 (2), Thome 0 (1), Parrish 0 (1), Jones 4 (12), Morneau 2 (6), Mastroianni 2 (4), Plouffe 4 (10), Greenway 0 (1), Punto 3 (9), Koskie 0 (1), Dr. Cooper 0 (0), Mauer 2 (5)
Dozier and Nathan win swingoff
Bracket Time - 10 Swings
Mauer (4) beats Kubel (3), Morneau (5) beats Punto (4), Plouffe (3) beats Nathan (1), Jones (3) beats Dozier (2)
Next Round - 5 Swings
Plouffe (7) beats Morneau (4)
Mauer (6) beats Jones (2)
Final Round - 3 Swings
Plouffe (3) beats Mauer (2)
T. Plouffe: 23 J. Mauer: 17 G. Jones: 16 J. Morneau: 15 N. Punto: 13