The Minnesota Twins honored one of their greats before Saturday's game against the visiting Kansas City Royals.
Minnesota celebrated the career of catcher Joe Mauer and officially retired his No. 7 from ever being worn on another Twins uniform.
Mauer joins Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett, Bert Blyleven, and former manager Tom Kelly as Twins to have their numbers formally retired by the team.
The six-time All-Star and 2009 American League MVP played all 15 seasons of his major-league career with the club. The Minnesota native was drafted first overall in 2001 and went on to hit .306/.388/.439 with 143 home runs, 428 doubles, and 923 RBIs over 1,858 career games.
(Video courtesy: MLB.com)
"Wearing the No. 7 for the last 15 years has been my absolute pleasure," Mauer told the crowd at Target Field. "And being able to play my entire career in front of my family, friends, and fans here at home means more to me than any of you will ever know."
Longtime teammate and former roommate Justin Morneau was also on hand for the ceremony. Morneau shared how impressed he always was by Mauer's prowess with the bat.
"You were a catcher who won three batting titles in the American League when nobody had ever won one," Morneau said.
Mauer announced his retirement in November.