It's mostly the glasses, but if you watch video from 2000 of Minnesota prep star Joe Mauer talking about making college football recruiting visits to places such as Michigan, Arizona State and Florida State, you'll wonder to yourself: And what about Hogwarts?!
The youth, the innocence, the unassuming earnestness, the naiveté, the "don'tcha' know" accent — it's all there as Channel 11 in the Twin Cities interviews the 17-year-old quarterback from Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul. He was destined not to be a college football star, or a prodigal wizard, but instead a franchise catcher (and first baseman) with the Minnesota Twins.
"You look like a professor ... you look like, you know, a chemistry student," the reporter says, leaving out what, today, would be an obvious reference to Harry Potter. But the interview happened a year before Daniel Radcliffe made Potter even more famous on the big screen than J.K. Rowling did in her series of books.
Still, Mauer's glasses are like what Potter wore in the original cover art of the books, although he looked more like "Where's Waldo?" in those days.
"I just think of myself as an ordinary 17-year-old," Mauer says in the video. "Who just likes to go out and have some fun. I especially like playing the sports I play. I'll just keep on doing that as long as I can."
Mauer's attitude is pretty much the same at 30.
Here's the viddy:
The video refers to Mauer as possibly the second-best quarterback in the country, but this list had him No. 1. After tentatively accepting a ride to FSU, Mauer was picked first overall by the Twins in the 2001 MLB draft. He signed with them and — five All-Star teams, three batting titles and AL MVP later — the rest is history. Alakazam!
Update: Here's some game action with Mauer leading his team to a state title as a junior.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly started that Mauer was picked second overall. That honor actually went to Mark Prior, who was taken by the Cubs.
Big BLS H/N: @PeteHuge, @OverTheBaggy and @2J
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