TwinsFest 2019 Joe Mauer White Glove Tour
Image courtesy of TCAnelleClyde decided to have Joe unpack the bag and take the group through what each item was and talk about his career. We didn't know this when we bid on the tour and I suspect had folks known, it would have gone higher.
This flickr album has all the photos with detailed descriptions. I wasn't supposed to video anything but recorded a few before I was scolded. The lady next to me took a bunch more so if you know her, you can hear more. I recommend looking at the album on a laptop or a tablet since the descriptions are more easily viewed on a full -size browser. They explain many of the markings in or on his equipment and give the details he shared about each piece. The bat and batting gloves are from his 2000th hit. I was at Target Field that night so it was special to get to hold them. He talked through how he chose his bats and explained how he listened to the sound a bat makes when tapped on the barrel. The higher the pitch the better. The 2000th hit bat had a pretty high pitch.
After holding the bat and lowering it to tap his shoes, as we've seen him do thousands of times, he explained the pre-at-bat ritual of raking the dirt with his cleats then tapping his shoes. It was so he was able to see precisely where his feet went during a plate appearance. It gave him an immediate visual clue if something was off. He also raked the dirt in front of home plate as a catcher to prevent a bad hop on a ball in the dirt. Same for the semi-circles while waiting on batters at first base. His process was all about doing every little thing he could to prevent as many 1-in-a-1000 events that might negatively impact his ability to make the play or get a hit.
Joe has given some less than engaging post-game interviews over the years, but he talked with ease Friday night and seems to be genuinely at peace with deciding to retire. I'm still in denial he won't take the field on Opening Day, but really enjoyed the hour hearing him talk about baseball. I'm so going to miss watching him play.
- Seth Stohs, pbrezeasap, SD Buhr and 3 others like this