Joe Mauer played 15 Major League seasons—all with the Minnesota Twins. 

By Charlotte Carroll
November 09, 2018

Joe Mauer retired from Major League Baseball following a 15-year career with the Twins, the Star Tribune announced Friday.

Mauer will make his official announcement in a full-page ad in Sunday’s Star Tribune, per the publication.

"After much consideration I have decided to retire from playing baseball,” he wrote in his retirement announcement. “The decision came down to my health and my family. The risk of 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. 

"Thank you, Minnesota Twins, and thank you, fans, for making my career as special and memorable as it was. Because of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grateful heart.”

The decision came after an emotional Sunday for Mauer on Sept. 30 when the Twins celebrated their 5-4 win over the White Sox as Joe Mauer Day. Mauer is from St. Paul, Minnesota.

On Sunday, the 35-year-old Mauer took the field at first base and led off Minnesota's batting order. Throughout his career, Mauer played as a catcher, first baseman and designated hitter. In his final at-bat, Mauer doubled. 

Then in the ninth inning, Mauer emerged from the dugout in his catching gear, the first time he’d worn it since late 2013, when a series of concussions forced him to move to first base. He stood alone at home plate as fans, teammates and opponents showered him with applause.

The 2009 AL MVP caught one pitch from Matt Belisle. Then, with the theme music from "The Natural" playing over the speakers and he walked off to a final standing ovation and was replaced by Chris Gimenez.

"We had an opportunity to do that, and I didn’t think that was going to be a possibility ever," Mauer said. “I’m glad I took that opportunity."

The day was full of special moments and earlier, his daughters ran on to the field to surprise him. 

In his first at bat, Mauer received a huge standing ovation. 

Sunday was Mauer's final game of an eight-year, $184 million contract. He finishes second in Twins history in games played, third in runs scored, second in hits, first in doubles, and second in walks.

Mauer won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards (2008–2010) and he won the 2009 AL MVP Award. He's a six-time All-Star. He was the No. 1 overall pick of the of 2001 MLB draft and made his Twins debut in 2004.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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