MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours for Minnesota Twins’ legend Joe Mauer.
On Tuesday, Mauer got the call that changed his life forever and put him among the greatest to ever play Major League Baseball. In his first time on the ballot, Mauer got elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, earning 76.1 percent of the 385 ballots cast.
Thursday, Mauer joined Adrian Beltre and Todd Helton was the members of the 2024 Hall of Fame class for festivities in Cooperstown, New York. Mauer took a tour of the place where a bronze statue of his will be placed later this summer, a place he hasn't been since his rookie year.
Among other things, Mauer talked about getting that phone call Tuesday afternoon.
"Thankful to be here. It’s very humbling to be in this room with the greatness that surrounds us. It’s really pretty surreal to be here," Mauer said. "When you see that call in that allotted time from New York, Cooperstown, it’s a really special moment. I’d say right now it’s starting to sink in."
Mauer was selected No. 1 overall by the Twins in 2001, and made his MLB debut in 2004. He spent all 15 seasons with the Twins, earning three American League batting titles as a catcher and winning the MVP in 2009.
The panel was asked who the most famous person they’ve heard from since getting the call. Mauer’s answer? Wayne Gretzky, one of the greatest hockey players ever.
"I’ve heard from a lot of people over the last couple of days. Wayne Gretzky reached out and congratulated me, I was able to meet him a few years back. It was really nice to see a text from him and a little back and forth," Mauer said.
He was also asked when he knew he could hang with the best players in baseball. Mauer said it was a moment during Spring Training.
"I remember facing Roy Halladay. To me it was the World Series, to him it was probably just getting some work in. I remember going 2-for-2 and I get on second base and a future teammate of mine, Orlando Hudson, said ‘You’re not supposed to do that.’ At that moment I felt I can belong here," Mauer said.
Mauer, Beltre and Helton will be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame at a ceremony in July. Mauer will be honored in August at Target Field.