Joe Mauer retires after 15 seasons with Twins, writes goodbye letter to Minnesota fans

Joe Mauer announced his retirement from baseball after 15 seasons with the Minnesota Twins.

"After much consideration I have decided to retire from playing baseball," he wrote in a letter to fans posted on MLB.com "The decision came down to my health and my family. The risk of concussion is always there, and I was reminded of that this season after missing over 30 games as a result of diving for a foul ball.

"Thank you, Minnesota Twins, and thank you, fans, for making my career as special and memorable as it was. Because of you I can leave the game I love with a full and grateful heart."

Mauer is 35 years old and his eight-year, $184 million contract with the Twins expired after this past season. Even after his 2018 season with the Twins ended following a memorable return behind the plate, Mauer still would not commit to whether or not he would retire.

During his time behind the plate, Mauer was considered the best catcher in baseball, but a concussion in 2013 forced him to move to first base the following season. Mauer is the only catcher in Major League Baseball history to win three batting titles. The St. Paul native was named American League's Most Valuable Player in 2009 after leading the majors with a .365 average, hitting 28 home runs and driving in 96 runs in just 138 games.

The Twins and Mauer will hold an official retirement press conference on Monday.

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