Friday, April 13, 2018

Mauer 2K

Joe Mauer is hitting .412 so far.
Joe Mauer got career hit number 2,000 Thursday night, a ground ball through the box against a drawn-in infield that drove in a pair of runs and doubled Minnesota's lead.

Regular readers of this blog know that I see Mauer as having done the heavy lifting for the Hall of Fame. His decade of excellence as a catcher stands with anybody in the game's history, and he will this year, barring a recurrance of the injuries that have occasionally limited his output, steadily climb up career lists.

Hit number 2,000, for example, put Mauer past Jimmy Collins for No. 287 on the all-time hits list. Collins, a third baseman whose career straddled the 19th and 20th centuries, is enshrined in Cooperstown.

Another 100 hits, which (again assuming good health) figures to come no later than August, would take him to a tie for 228 on the list (with Clyde Milan, who spent his career with the Twins' Washington predecssor) and past Hall of Famers Gary Carter, Johnny Bench, Deacon White, Chuck Klein, Dave Bancroft, George Kell, Bobby Doerr, Earl Averill, Bill Mazeroski, Johnny Mize and some guy named Harmon Killebrew.

Two thousand hits ain't 3,000; it's not an automatic entry to Cooperstown. But it is a milestone that is typical of Hall of Famers. A couple of years ago it was widely assumed, including in this corner of cyberspace, that 2018 would probably be the end of Mauer's career. His bounceback season of 2017, and his hot start this year, make a return much more likely. And the longer Mauer can go, the more impressive his career totals will become.

1 comment:

  1. Here is hoping "Joltin Joe" keeps hitting and playing admirable D, to achieve HOF numbers.

    His recovery shows just how long recovery from concussions take.

    I believe the MLB HOF voters put too large a penalty on career shortening injuries that bar players such as Kaat or Oliva from receiving the honor.

    Both contributed to teams after serious injuries, medical techniques of today may have kept these two, and others, performing at a high level.