ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s already been 12 years since Joe Mauer walked across the stage as a Cretin-Derham Hall graduate, and into a career in professional baseball.
This week, Mauer was back at his high school for a promotional shoot, and to award a prize pack from Gatorade.
“It feels like home, this is a great place,” he said. “A lot of the same teachers I’ve had 12 years ago are still here. It may have changed a bit on the outside, but it’s the same core and spirit here.”
Some of the CHD athletes asked Mauer who he ate lunch with back in his high school days.
“Try different things – if you’re a football player, it’s easy and normal to hang out with the football guys and be with that group,” Mauer said. “But I was thankful for meeting people from all walks of life and different interests, and sometimes you find more about your self when you open up.”
Mauer thrived at CDH as a three-sport athlete, to a level never seen in Minnesota — while his profile blew up, his demeanor remained the same.
“I had a great time, great experience here,” he said. “I think it went by really quick. My senior and junior year was chaotic at times, but my parents, my family, and the people here stressed being a kid.”
When did he know sports could be his future?
“When I was 16 years old and got invited to go try out for Team USA, an 18-and-under team,” he said. “There were kids from California and Florida — baseball hot beds — and I was right there with them so I knew I could compete with them.”
The rest has been history, but when you listen to his “Aw shucks attitude” you can’t help but wonder.
“I love competing – one thing I learned here is you can be a fierce competitor and also be a good person and separate the two,” he said.