Joe Mauer notches 1,000 career hits

Joe Mauer has a lot to smile about.
Joe Mauer has a lot to smile about.
Photo: Keith Alison

Last night in Chicago as his team was beating the White Sox 9-3, catcher Joe Mauer became only the 11th Minnesota Twin ever to reach a career-high 1,000 hits.

Then he stroked in two more for good measure. It took him 827 games.

Adding to the sweetness: The 27-year-old All Star catcher reached that milestone faster than former Twins legends Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva.

Only two other catchers in the majors, Johnny Bench and Ivan Rodriguez, were younger than Mauer when they passed 1,000. Both were 26.

Not bad for a kid who grew up with his brothers smacking balls through the neighbors' windows in St. Paul.

The pride of Cretin-Derham Hall made his mark with a single down the left field line in the first inning off White Sox starter John Danks. Then he watched from first base as umpire Brian O'Nora rolled the ball to the Twins dugout for a souvenir. In a career filled with accolades, it was a relatively quiet moment of triumph.

Meanwhile, the Twins have now opened a seven-game lead over the White Sox, as they sit atop the AL Central with 18 games left to play in the regular season. The two rivals meet again tonight at U.S. Cellular Field.

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