Now THAT is how you go off into retirement. I guess it’s not a done deal that Joe Mauer is finished with baseball, but after all of that I can’t see how he comes back. Aside from Jeter’s walk-off, having all of that in one nine inning game was more than Joe could have ever asked for. I think everyone has always had a great deal of respect for the kid from St. Paul and what he got yesterday was well deserved. A double in his final at bat, standing ovations all over the place, and being able to catch one more time before riding off into the sunset. That was fucking awesome.
He’ll go done as a top 10 hitting catcher of all-time and is right up there as on of the greatest Minnesota Twins ever.
Is Mauer a Hall of Famer though? It’s tough. He’s “only” at 2,100 hits in his career and despite being a catcher by trade, has played a lot of 1st base and DH which will take away some of the luster. However, only four catchers in the history of the game had a higher WAR for their first ten seasons (Hall of Famers Bench, Piazza, Carter, and Mickey Cochrane). Six of the nine catchers to surpass 2,000 hits are in the Hall of Fame as well, but Mauer never won any championships which I like to value. You can certainly make a case for him to get into Cooperstown, but you also could say his numbers aren’t worthy when you stack them up against others. At the end of the day I’m a sucker for these sort of things and when you watched Mauer during his prime you were watching a Hall of Famer. He has my vote.