Joe Mauer has confirmed what we all suspected – he's retiring from baseball.
The Minnesota Twins legend confirmed his retirement in a letter to fans posted on the Twins website, in which he said the decision "came down to my health and my family."
"The risk of concussion was always there, and I was reminded of that this season after missing over 30 games as a result of diving for a foul ball."
Mauer, who is set to become a father for the third time, said that the possibility of incurring another head injury – which he has struggled with since 2013 – was something that weighed on his mind.
Mauer was given a fitting, emotional sendoff in the Twins last home game of the season, in which he played catcher one more time, taking a single pitch in the 9th inning against the White Sox.
"I left the stadium after that game with 18 years worth of amazing memories playing for a team and organization that has become family, and to me that is worth more than I can express."
He'll retire having hit 143 homers for the Twins, driving in 923 runs and finishing with a spectacular .306 career batting average. He was the American League MVP in 2009.
He was also a supreme defensive player, for several years the best catcher in the league before struggling with concussions. He later shifted to first base and proved equally adept, and was arguably cheated out of a Golden Glove in the Twins 2017 season.