Twins fans have watched St. Paul’s hometown boy Joe Mauer grow up out on the field. No longer a breakout rookie, he has matured into not only a statesman in the last year of his contract but also a husband, a father and a philanthropist.
“It’s been a unique perspective for me,” he says. “It literally hits close to home: I can see the impact my service has had over the years on our community.”
He’s seen the growth working with the Highland Friendship Club, a group cofounded by his best friend’s mother, Pat Leseman, that offers age-appropriate social activities for youth with disabilities. “It’s a special group that is close to my heart,” he notes. “It has been a lot of fun to see these kids turn into young adults and watch how much they’ve progressed.”
And his signature Mauer and Friends Kids Classic at Target Field has also grown, in part thanks to insight from his wife, Maddie, who is a nurse at beneficiary Gillette Children’s. He’s also partnered with the league on the Minnesota Action Team, whose aim is to get kids volunteering in their communities.
“My life has changed a lot in the past 15 years; I have a wife and kids, and I’m aware of the examples I set,” he says. “Hopefully I can help others get involved, too. It’s pretty special for me to play in the community I grew up in, and I try to make a difference with the platform I’ve been given. When my playing years are done, I’m sure I’ll do more. I’m proud of where I grew up and happy to do whatever I can.”