Davenport, Iowa — The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the election of former Quad City River Bandit Joe Mauer by the Baseball Writers’ Association. Mauer, who played 110 games in the Midwest League in 2002, is just the third catcher in baseball history to be a first-ballot selection
Davenport, Iowa — The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the election of former Quad City River Bandit Joe Mauer by the Baseball Writers’ Association. Mauer, who played 110 games in the Midwest League in 2002, is just the third catcher in baseball history to be a first-ballot selection and joins infielder Bid McPhee and pitcher Jim Bunning as Hall of Famers whose playing careers passed through Quad Cities.
"Joe Mauer represents the very best of baseball," said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. "I love that there is a generation of people here in the Quad Cities who got to see him play for the River Bandits when he was starting his great career--maybe even got an autograph--then watched him star for the Twins and now can see him go into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Joe was a special player and it's those kinds of special memories that make baseball so much fun."
Prior to a 15-year Major League career with Minnesota, which included six All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, and three batting titles, the 2009 American League MVP spent four seasons in the minor leagues after being selected by the Twins first overall in the 2001 Draft. With the River Bandits in 2002--his age 19 season--Mauer batted .302 with 23 doubles, 62 RBI, and a team-high 61 walks, while also throwing out 42% of baserunners who attempted to steal on him.
As part of a Quad City roster that included eight other future big-leaguers, including Jason Kubel, Garrett Jones, and Jesse Crain, Mauer was named the 2002 Midwest League Prospect of the Year, the only Quad Cities player other than 1983 Quad City Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston to earn that honor. Mauer also shared the field with his brother and future Midwest League manager Jake Mauer.
Along with Adrian Beltre, Todd Helton, and Jim Leyland (Contemporary Baseball Era Committee), Mauer will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the Class of 2024 on July 21, with a ceremony scheduled for 12:30 p.m. CT in Cooperstown, New York.