On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins announced they’d be adding another retired number to their list — the No. 7 worn from 2004-18 by Joe Mauer.
Mauer’s retired number will be the eighth in club history:
- Harmon Killebrew – 3
- Tony Oliva – 6
- Tom Kelly – 10
- Kent Hrbek – 14
- Bert Blyleven – 28
- Rod Carew – 29
- Kirby Puckett – 34
That’s in addition to Jackie Robinson’s No. 42, which is universally retired by the entire league.
Blyleven had an interesting role in the notification process, as he and a few other Twins legends were present at Mauer’s alma mater Cretin-Derham Hall on Tuesday morning to notify the recently-retired No. 7 that nobody else would wear the number:
Today at Cretin Derhan Hall H.S. we surprised Joe with the announcement that the Twins will be retiring his #7 this summer. Congratulations Joe in your career in baseball and in your family life. 👍⚾️ pic.twitter.com/tQii9xVfB4
— Bert Blyleven (@BertBlyleven28) December 18, 2018
Also in attendance were Kelly, Oliva and Hrbek, totaling four of the remaining five with retired numbers who are still living.
Thirty-five players have worn the No. 7 in franchise history — dating back to Ossie Bluege in 1931 — and 17 of them did so as Minnesota Twins, including Lenny Green (1959-64), who wore it as the club transitioned from the Washington Senators.
No player wore it as long as Mauer, though only two players have worn it over the last 26 seasons — Joe and utility infielder Denny Hocking.
Here are the No. 7s in Minnesota Twins history:
- Lenny Green: 1959-64
- Jimmie Hall: 1964-66
- Frank Quilici: 1967-70
- Paul Powell: 1971
- Jim Nettles: 1971-72
- Jerry Terrell: 1973-75
- Danny Walton: 1975
- Dave McKay: 1975-76
- Rob Wilfong: 1977-82
- Greg Wells: 1982
- Larry Milbourne: 1982
- Scott Ullger: 1983
- Dave Meier: 1984-85
- Mark Davidson: 1986
- Greg Gagne: 1987-92
- Denny Hocking: 1993-2003
- Joe Mauer: 2004-18
The Twins have not announced a date for the retirement ceremony, but a fun option might be July 7 against the Texas Rangers. These ceremonies often take place on weekends, and this is a Sunday afternoon game with a 1:10 p.m. first pitch.
It’s also the final game before the All-Star Break.
“The Minnesota Twins organization has been blessed to have Joe Mauer part of our franchise since 2001,” Twins executive chair Jim Pohlad said in a team-released statement. “Few players have achieved more on the field, or given back more off the field than Joe. With Joe’s storied career in mind, the Twins family is proud to bestow our highest honor with the retirement of his jersey – number 7. We are excited to celebrate Joe’s excellence, commitment to this community and special relationship with Twins Territory.”
The Twins also listed Mauer’s numerous charitable endeavors over his career, including:
- Hosting the Mauer and Friends Kids Classic luncheon for Gillette Children’s Hospital
- This raised over $1 million in the years Joe hosted it
- Donating the playroom at Gillette Children’s Hospital to provide a break for children undergoing treatment
- Serving as spokesman for a bowling fundraiser for the Highland Friendship Club, which provides work and recreation opportunities to the developmentally disabled.
- Supporting Friends of St. Paul Baseball, an organization that improves facilities around the city for youth.
- Spokesman and mentor to MLB Player’s Association’s Action Team, which enlists high school students to recruit others to volunteer in the community.
- Established ticket program “Mauer’s Minnies” which gave away tickets to economically disadvantaged children from the Twin Cities.
- Also spent time on Twins Winter Caravan and was a yearly attendee of TwinsFest which supports the Twins Community Fund.