Long-time Twins star Mauer announces retirement
Joe Mauer, one of the greatest catchers of the past decade and one of the most beloved Minnesota Twins in team history, is retiring.
The 35-year-old Mauer announced his retirement on Friday in a lengthy letter to fans.
"After much consideration I have decided to retire from playing baseball," Mauer wrote in the 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."
Mauer won the 2009 American League (AL) MVP Award when he hit .365, with 28 home runs and 96 RBIs. He also won the Gold Glove Award that season, his second of three consecutive honours for his defense behind the plate.
But a concussion in 2013 forced Mauer to move to first base. He suffered another concussion last season, which made him rethink his goal of playing until at least 2020.
Mauer's status as a native son – he was born in St. Paul – made him a fan favourite from the moment the Twins selected him number one overall in the 2001 MLB Amateur Draft.
Mauer ends his career with six All-Star Game appearances and three AL batting titles, making him the only catcher in history to win three titles. Mauer finishes with 2,123 career hits, 143 home runs, 923 RBIs, and a slash line of .306/.388/.439.