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Mr. Minnesota

By Tim Matsche
If you were like me, and watched the Joe Mauer press conference yesterday, I'm sure you had that same feeling of happiness and joy that I had. This 26 year old just signed a deal making him one of the richest Minnesotans, and definitely the richest sports contract in state history, but there was no resentment or animosity towards him at all. Joe Mauer is a true Minnesotan. Kirby Puckett was a transplant so it was different, Kent Hrbek wasn't on the same level so it ws different. Joe Mauer is a Minnesotan.
We live in a state that is very modest, very polite, and very competitive. Those same characteristic's can describe Joe Mauer. This guy has got it all now, looks, money, talent, and fame. I'm guessing it won't be long until we see him popping up on some magazines 50 most eligible bachelor list. He does a great job representing us, and we should be proud of him. He's doesn't come across as a businessman like A-Rod. His business is baseball, and he's damn good at it.
Growing up most kids want to be a professional athlete at some point. And most parents over the last 20 years have probably had a hard time identifying athletes that their kids should emulate and idolize. Look at the top players from most sports and they've been tied to some sort of controversy, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGuire, Ben Roethlisberger, Kobe Byant, and even Tiger Woods. I'm not saying Joe Mauer is perfect, he might have a few skeletons in his closet but I doubt it. The reason I say that is because I think we all feel like we know him. I myself played football against him, and I have a guy at work who is best friends with his roommate, and they all went to high school and played baseball growing up. So you hear first and second hand stories about him, and they're always good. So as a parent now I think he would be the perfect person for my son to idolize. In fact after watching the press conference yesterday, I went and bought my 5 month old son a Mauer jersey and poster for his room.
Joe Mauer isn't the second coming, but when you open the sports page and read Tiger's text messages, or Roethlisbergers alleged assaults, Joe Mauer is a welcome relief and reminder of what can happen to the good guys. One of the news crews went to a homeless shelter yesterday after the press conference and asked the homeless what they thought about Mauer's contract and everyone that they showed was happy, and said he deserved it. I'm guessing that wouldn't happen with every athlete.
So going forward Mauer will continue to represent his family, friends, company, and community the Minnesotan way, the same way we would all like to do it. When asked what was the first thing he wanted to buy when getting a 184 million dollar contract, he said, "I'm going to take Justin Morneau out to dinner."

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