For Justin Morneau's entire big league career, all he's known is Minnesota.
That came to an end today, when Morneau took the field at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, as a member of the Pirates.
What he leaves behind after being dealt by Minnesota yesterday, is a hole at first base for the Twins, and a hole in his own heart having left the place he's called home for 10 years.
This is what he gave Minnesota fans with on his departure day:
First of all, I would like to say thank you to all of the Twins fans. I would also like to thank the Minnesota Twins organization for giving me a chance to realize my dream of being a Major League baseball player. I was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1999. Since that day I have been very proud and fortunate to call myself a Minnesota Twin.
I was a wide-eyed 22 year old kid when I made my big league debut in 2003. I received a warm welcome that day and have felt welcomed ever since. I feel like I was a kid when I first got here, but was able to grow up in this organization and become someone my friends and family could be proud of. My wife, kids and family are Minnesotans and this has become my second home. Minnesotans are some of the kindest, most genuine people I have ever met.
I am sorry that during my time here we weren't able to achieve our ultimate goal of winning the World Series, but I will forever carry many wonderful memories of my time here. I will always cherish every day I was lucky enough to play in front of you fans in a Minnesota uniform.
Thank you for all of your support throughout the years.
Good luck, Justin.