Local boy makes good Joe Mauer gets hit 2000
In the seventh inning, standing on first base just miles but many years from his childhood in St. Paul, Minnesota, baseball gave Joe Mauer a place to shine and Joe Mauer gave the Twins his 2,000th hit.
He did not enter the game facing the 2,000 hit mark, but with a single in the third, the milestone revealed itself and was fulfilled innings later. The ball chopped up the middle and sent the runners on second and third back to the Twins' dugout, so for the moments Mauer was allowed to soak in his accomplishment, it was just him and the fans.
With silver-patched hair, looking out at the crowd, he stepped out of to become the franchise face, he wore the jersey he idolized growing up. These moments are particular about when they show up and who they happen to. They have yet to manage to slow the inevitable, though.
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People are asked to change and shift constantly. It is stupid and dumb and it's totally fine to be a giant baby about it, but it happens. Sometimes that includes our most basic childhood loyalties. Baseball is always asking us to adapt, too, though it's not always as necessary for a fan to oblige. Maybe a move out west requires stepping foot into Dodger Stadium for live baseball one too many times and, at some point, a Dodger blue hat ends up crossing the team store counter to get put inside of a bag, too. The hat won't have the same feel that the Phillies or Tigers hat had for the younger version of the hat-purchaser. 'It's not a big deal! Jimmy Rollins would understand.' But Rollins' face is still there judging. A hat is just a hat, but sometimes people have to wear a different one than they prefer.
Life never asked Mauer to give up his childhood hat and in turn the idealization of his favorite baseball team. There is at least a little magic in that. It is seen in his crumbling face as he stood by first base between innings, soaking in the 'Let's go, Joe!' chants and saluting the crowd that had watched him grow up.....
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