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On Mauer entering Hall

Pine Knot News columnist Steve Korby was curious about the Carlton County reaction to former Minnersota Twin Joe Mauer’s induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, which was announced last week. So he asked. Catch his reaction to the news on Page 11.

Howie Hanson, gifted Lumberjacks shortstop and publisher of Duluth’s Howie’s Blog: “First ballot is surprising. But Mauer respected the game throughout and will continue to be a legendary ambassador for baseball.”

Keith Basney, Cloquet graduate and now Arizona resident: “Mauer Hall of Fame … well-deserved. On the personal side, he was a Minnesota boy, drafted No. 1 by his home team Twins, played his entire career with them, appeared to be a gentleman, very humble person. Maybe lacked in power that many fans liked, but had great bat skill.”

Rick Stowell, former Cloquet baseball player, coach and theater mogul: “Baseball is in an era of, if you can throw the ball over 100 mph or hit it 450 feet, they’ll find a place for you. For knowledgeable baseball fans, it’s frustrating to watch players throw to the wrong base or run the bases poorly, making the first out at third or home or the last out at third. Joe Mauer was a cerebral player. He always attempted the correct play and that trait has always been an important part of the game.”

Justin Dinger, Cloquet librarian and loyal Twins fan: “From my perspective, Joe was just a guy from Minnesota who was really good at baseball. I felt the same way after Prince died. I had no idea Prince was a major international celebrity. I just thought he was popular in Minnesota because he was from Minnesota. I don’t know what to call that, maybe some type of insular bias? I am very happy for Joe and the Twins. My family was able to attend the Twins game ceremony when they retired Joe’s No. 7 and we hope to visit his plaque in Cooperstown someday soon.”

Mitch Wybierala, Cloquet barber and renowned philosopher: “Yes, Mauer deserved the Hall. Great catcher and hitter. And he made Minnesota proud. … Humble and kind. He did it the right way.”

Frank Yetka, local attorney and a hurler for Cloquet high school and city teams, University of Minnesota Duluth and finally, a University of Minnesota intramural team during law school: “Like Oliva, when healthy, Joe Mauer was the best in the game at what he did. Catching is the toughest and the most challenging position in baseball. In his prime, Joe Mauer was not only the best hitting catcher in baseball but the best defensive catcher.”