How many "best parts" can a photo have? This picture of Minnesota Twins superstar Joe Mauer at (perhaps) 9 years old has too many to count.
• The Zubaz pants. They've been making a comeback, thank goodness, but for a while it appeared the striped wonders would remain a relic of the late 1980s and early '90s. Every kid in '92 (with any taste) wanted Zubaz, and obviously Mauer's parents came through for the lad.
• The reluctant smile for the camera. Mauer (from what I can tell) is genuinely friendly, and a nice guy as an adult, but there's some shyness there also. His emotions mostly stay under the surface, a lament of some Twins watchers. It makes sense that, while he's obviously happy about winning a basketball trophy and wearing those pants, something prevents him from showing a grin. As the inset photo of Mauer shows, it's obvious he's worked on that part of his personality.
• The bangs. Oh my gosh darn it, the bangs. That's the price you pay for Zubaz pants; subjecting yourself to bangs because that's what mom wants. It's "kid pro quo" at its most elemental. Note, again in the inset photo, how Mauer's catcher's helmet simulates the bangs today. Mauer is in charge of his own haircut now — he's an adult — but he's still got mom on his mind. That's for you, Mrs. Mauer.
• The basketball trophy. We don't know precisely what he got it for, but it's likely that Mauer's team won a tournament. He was, after all, a 12-sport star by the time high school came.
• The house. As Twitter follower Bob Bohland said:Read More »from Joe Mauer rocks Zubaz pants and basketball trophy in portrait of the catcher as a young boy