As soon as I heard when the Twins would be retiring Joe Mauer's number, I bought tickets. Drafted by the Twins in 2001, debuted for them in 2004, played 15 seasons with them and retired in 2018. He had some struggles in the later years, but had an incredible career. 6 All-Star appearances, 2009 AL MVP, 3 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers, and 3 time AL Batting Champion.
They had several pre-game events. Mauer's brothers had a hitting competition with TC Bear.
The living players with retired numbers had a special reception and walked in from the outfield. Tony Oliva, Tom Kelly, Kent Hrbek, Bert Blyleven, and Rod Carew.
Joe was given several introductory speeches, then his own.
He was gifted with the home plate from his final game last fall as well as a sign copy of TI's "What You Know" record, which was his walk up song for the last 13 years of his career.
The ceremony ended with the revealing of Mauer's number and the ceremonial first pitch with his dad.
The game itself started out slow for the Twins, going down 2 in the first inning. They rallied in the middle innings and won 5-4.
We grabbed a picture with the giant number 7 on the plaza before heading out for the night. It was a cool game to be a part of! Congrats Joe and good luck with your next adventure!