Mr. Consistency, Joe Mauer, picked up career hit No. 2,000 -- and it was almost exactly the same as his first
Twins veteran Joe Mauer headed into the 2018 season just 14 base hits shy of 2,000 for his career -- so you knew it was coming.
He got it out of the way pretty early, in fact. Thursday night's 4-0 win over the White Sox at Target Field marked Minnesota's 11th game of the young season. That's all it took for Mauer to add himself to the record books when he cracked an RBI single up the middle to score two runs in the seventh inning.
Mauer is nothing if not consistent -- he's tallied at least 140 hits in 9 of his 15 seasons so far -- so would it surprise you to find out that Thursday's milestone was very reminiscent of Mauer's first career hit, which happened way back in 2004? It's uncanny, really:
Relive that fateful day 14 years ago:
As for where Mauer now sits in Twins lore, well ... 2,000 hits is a very exclusive group of Minnesota icons:
Joe Mauer is only the third #MNTwins player ever with 2,000 hits. The others -- Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew. There are seven in franchise history between Twins and Washington Senators.- Dan Hayes (@DanHayesMLB) April 13, 2018
"Two of my heroes right there," Mauer reflected to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger after the game. "To be mentioned with those guys and Harmon Killebrew early in the year with those starts, it means a lot to me right now. And not just to me, the organization. To be mentioned with those guys is pretty special."
About hit No. 2,000:
"Leading up to it, I didn't try to make a big deal of it to be honest. When I got up there the at-bat before, the fans started to get into it. It put some more adrenaline in my system there. It was a special moment, especially coming off a tough lefty and driving in a couple runs, too. That was a special moment."
What was it like taking the field after the big hit? Well ...
"That was probably the most awkward I've ever been on a baseball field. I'll tell you that. I didn't know what to do. I definitely really appreciated the ovation from the fans. That was really special."
Thursday's feat also impressed another Minnesota baseball icon up in the broadcast booth:
Congratulations Joe Mauer on your 2,000th hit. Up the middle that scored 2 runs. Twins up now 4-0!!! 👍⚾️ pic.twitter.com/X9opyZ2FOF- Bert Blyleven (@BertBlyleven28) April 13, 2018
Not bad, Joe. Enjoy it.