This story is almost too good to be true. It really is. Nearly every little boy that ever picked up a baseball bat dreamed of playing for their favorite Major League team. In Joe Mauer’s case, it was the Hometown team… The Minnesota Twins.
Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota.. Joe was a hitter from his early days. It didn’t hurt that he was groomed by a creative father and a High School coach that turned out another fantastic hitting protege’ .. Paul Molitor!
Joe’s father Jake invented a contraption when Joe was a young player. The contraption is one of the hottest selling training products in the industry. No wonder, look what it has produced. Named the QuickSwing after it’s obvious requirement for succcessful training sessions, the device concealed the ball from view in a tube until it dropped out just above waist high. The
hitter had to find and hit the ball before it dropped to the ground, creating a short, compact, accurate and repeatable stroke. Joe spent hours on the Quickswing, honing the swing you see today. He also culled important knowledge from his High School coach, Jim O’Neill.
Joe credits Coach O’Neill with an important nugget of hitting wisdom that he carries with him to this day. Jim basically advised him that with his short, accurate swing he should look for his pitch to hit until he has two strikes on him. Joe has held that approach from his High School days and the results speak loudly.
Joe is on the verge of winning his 3rd AL Batting title in 4 years (He would have to go 0-18 to lose to Ichiro Suzuki). Two of those years, ’06 and ’09, Mauer had the highest batting average in the Majors. No catcher has ever done that.
If you think his hitting is something that just came to him.. think again. He spent hours and hours working with his father’s QuickSwing contraption. And if you think his new found “power” is something new.. think again. He set a Minnesota High School record when he hit Home Runs in 7 consecutive games. In his entire High School career, Joe struck out… ONCE!
Joe Mauer is a Hollywood story (one I’d like to write), his storybook rise to Major League Baseball All-Star status is one held dearly by most every Little Leaguer in the United States. What a gift that we get to watch Joe in Game #163. I for one am hoping that the Twins move on so I can watch that sweet swing just a few more games.
Joe Mauer – 2009 AL Batting Champion. You Are Yesterday’s Hitter!