Winnipeg Free Press - - SPORTS -

MIN­NEAPO­LIS — Joe Mauer is re­tir­ing af­ter

15 ma­jor league sea­sons, six all-star games, three Gold Glove awards, three bat­ting ti­tles and 2,123 ca­reer hits, all with his home­town Min­nesota Twins.

“Thank you, Min­nesota Twins, and thank you, fans, for mak­ing my ca­reer as spe­cial and memorable as it was,” Mauer wrote in a full­page ad that will run Sun­day in the Min­neapo­lis Star Tri­bune and St. Paul Pi­o­neer Press.

Mauer’s eight-year, US$184-mil­lion con­tract ex­pired the day af­ter the World Se­ries ended, cre­at­ing a nat­u­ral part­ing from the game he grew up with in St. Paul, less than

16 kilo­me­tres from the down­town Min­neapo­lis ball­parks he called home with the Twins.

The first over­all pick in the 2001 draft, out of Cretin-Der­ham Hall High School — the same pro­gram that pro­duced Hall of Famer Paul Moli­tor — made his de­but at the Metrodome on April 5, 2004, two weeks be­fore his 21st birth­day.

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