Home / Sports / Scoggins: Mauer is no match for the moment

Scoggins: Mauer is no match for the moment



Joe Mauer had practiced his speech several times in recent weeks, in the hope that it would help him keep his cool when he was to deliver it live.

It was not like entering the surface after taking the stick training. Stoic Joe was not a match for that moment.

Mauer saw a video of him and his brothers playing Wiffle ball in the yard while they were kids, and his emotions came swiftly.

"Wearing the number 7 over the last 15 years has been my absolute pleasure," he said in a microphone with 39,000 fans listening. "And being able to play my entire career under this number in front of my family, my friends and my fans here at home means more to me than anyone of you will ever know."

Mauer stopped to recover The Crowd of Target Field rose for another standing ovation for number 7, a number that will never be worn by a Twins player after the organization it was officially withdrawn on Saturday night.

Everything about the pre-match ceremony was perfect, even by the weather, which offered only a few splashes before lightening, despite worrying forecasts all day long.

The weather gods refused to let the rain rain at Mauer's time.

And what a moment it was, a first-class event featuring appearances of Who's Who's Twins royalty, a surprise visit from Hall of Fame receiver Johnny Bench and a video message from hip-hop artist TI , whose song "What You Know" served as a song of Mauer accompaniment for 13 seasons.

The twins checked each box by organizing this party.

"It was a surprise these last two days," said Mauer.

The pump and the circumstances underscored Mauer's impact during a 15-year career spent entirely with his hometown team.

# 7 hidden target area, inside and out. Mauer's number was painted on the grass in front of the two ponds. Cardboard cutouts of No. 7 were placed in the stadium seats. The twins' players wore a special patch paying tribute to Mauer on their right sleeve. Even the game balls bore the name, number and image of Mauer.

Mauer became the eighth player or coach of the Twins to lose his number. Number 7 is now hanging on the land frontage along the left-hand line, between Jackie Robinson's No. 42 and Tom Kelly's No. 10.

It would be difficult to beat Mauer's last match at the theater, as the scene of the latter retreated to the clubhouse to put on his catcher equipment for a final call to the curtain. This moment caused an epidemic of goose bumps.

He said goodbye in tears that day. He did it again on Saturday, this time surrounded by family members and former teammates, coaches and vanguard officials.

"Everyone loves Joe," said director Rocco Baldelli.

They came from near and far to greet him. Tony-O, TK, Carew, Black Jack, Hrbek, Bert, Radke, Guardado, Morneau and Hunter were all on the VIP list. More than 30 former teammates joined him on the field, along the third base line.

His family was sitting along the other baseline. Let's say that St. Paul's Mauer clan would compete with a university fanfare.

The ceremony included videos of Mauer's childhood told by his parents, a montage of all his commercials and tributes from former teammates and opponents. The organization gave him several gifts, including a plaque at home from his last match.

"I gave everyone here with the Twins, I thought," Do you like me? You try to make me cry every second of the day here this weekend, "he said.

His speech lasted longer than expected, reaching almost 11 minutes. Typical Mauer, always long.

"I'm 36 years old, I spent 18 years [with the organization]it's half my life as a Minnesota twin, "he said after the ceremony. "The other half was a fan of Twins. Now I'm a fan again, which is a lot of fun, especially with the boys' performance this year. "

Mauer said he had seen a handful of games this season and was happy to see the success of his team. He said the competitor in him "would like to be part of what they do," but he is pleased with this new phase of his life. He devotes all his time and energy to his wife and three young children.

"All the people I talk to say to me, 'Oh, you have all this time on your hands,'" he said. "I'm busier than ever."

The last line of Mauer's speech was a subtle jewel.

"Go get them tonight, boys," he said, roaring the crowd.

The ceremony ended with Mauer launching the first ceremonial throwing and probably many sniffing in the crowd.

Mauer's mother, Teresa, brought the ball to the mound and hugged her. His father, Jake, was standing in front of his plate, gloved in his hand, waiting for his son to give him a tone.

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