Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer announces retirement

Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer doffs his helmet after a curtain call following his his grand slam off New York Yankees pitcher Tommy Kahnle in the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday Sept. 11 2018 in Minneapolis

Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer doffs his helmet after a curtain call following his his grand slam off New York Yankees pitcher Tommy Kahnle in the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday Sept. 11 2018 in Minneapolis

A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Mauer, along with former teammate Justin Morneau, anchored the Twins lineup for years, bringing a sense of excitement to the team.

Mauer is 35 years old and his eight-year, $184 million contract with the Twins expired after this past season.

A number-one pick out of Cretin-Derham Hall in 2001, Mauer played his entire 15-season career with the Twins, winning the American League MVP award in 2009.

He announced his retirement with a letter on Friday that was released by the organization and will run in both papers in the Twin Cities this weekend. A host of other injuries - including a thigh injury, back strain, and lingering concussion symptoms - plagued the infielder in the years to follow, culminating in his decision to enter retirement for the sake of his health and his family.

Saints fear Achilles tear for Bryant
So, what number is Bryant going with? And any doubts about Bryant fitting into the locker room were addressed as well. The Saints could activate undrafted rookie receiver Keith Kirkwood from their practice squad for added depth Sunday.

But a concussion in 2013 forced Mauer to move to first base.

"The risk of a concussion is always there, and I was reminded of that this season after missing over 30 games as a result of diving for a foul ball", the letter read. While there had been several hints that the six-time All-Star was nearing the end of his time with the club, Mauer revealed that he hadn't felt ready to make an official decision until he stood on the field for the final game of the 2018 season.

Mauer, 35, is a six-time All-Star, a five-time Silver Slugger recipient, a three-time Gold Glove victor and a three-time recipient of the AL batting title.

Mauer was known for a sweet swing that drew consistent contact - he is a career.306 hitter who averaged 185 hits per season. "Because of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grateful heart".

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