In 2006, Joe Mauer helped to propel the
Minnesota Twins into the post season with his tremendous hitting.
Batting .347, Mauer capture the AL batting title, making him the
first AL catcher to do so. In 2008, Joe went on to win his
second AL Batting title. In 2009, Joe once again one upped
himself by taking a third AL Batting title and increasing his power
numbers on his way to becoming the AL MVP. Joe's recent success has driven demand
for his bats through the roof in Minnesota and across the nation.
I have had the opportunity to handle numerous
Mauer bats over the past several years and have identified certain use
characteristics. On this page I will outline my observations
regarding what I believe are legitimate and consistent use
characteristics. Like all players, Joe’s use characteristics have
evolved and will likely continue to evolve; this should not be
interpreted as a definitive list of Joe’s use characteristics.
As many collectors are already aware, Joe uses Rawlings bats the
vast majority of the time. However, I have located photos of him
using other manufacturers bats such as Louisville Slugger, XBAT, MAX BAT, and BWP in
2004 and 2005. Based on information from other collectors I am
aware that Joe has also swung Carolina Clubs, Old Hickory, Diable,
and Ironwood among others. So, although Rawlings in clearly
Joe's manufacturer of choice he has been known to atleast try
others. I have several photos from 2010 of Joe trying Mariucci
bats in games.
In terms of specifications, the 2006 Mauer bat
I have seen has been a model 456MR and weighing between 31 and 33
ounces. I believe that Joe has used other Rawlings models
including 456GS and 491B. Rawlings apparently created a model
for Joe (JM7) which appears to have become his model of choice.
I am not certain but I believe this model started showing up
sometime in 2007. Of the 2008 and 2009 bats that I have owned, all have been model
JM7. In atleast one instance I have noted that in 2010
Mauer has used a model AJM7 which must be just a slight variation of
The most consistent of trait is Mauer’s use and
application of pine tar. Joe has
consistently applied a concentration at the center
of the bat just below, and sometimes extending into the Rawlings "R"
at the center of the bat. This pine tar occasionally works it way down
to the handle area. I have noticed a
reduction in the amount of pine tar transfer on Mauer bats recently
more recently (08 and 09) as compared to the bats that I owned from
I have noted this both in bats I
have owned as well as photos of Joe particularly during 2009 (see
It appears that Joe
taped his handles in 2004 and 2005. I am sure how
consistent this is but I have owned both 2004 and 2005 Mauer bats with taped
handles. The tape will white athletic type tape wrapped in a solid
spiral extending approximately 7 inches starting at the knob.
In terms of markings Joe does not seem to be
consistent in his knob markings. It seems that Joe does not
typically his uniform number on the knob. The majority of 2006
Mauer bats that I have owned (with the vast majority coming directly
from he Twins) have shown no writing on the knob other than the
factory written player's name and bat weight. With that having
been said, I have owned several Mauer gamers, which had his
number 7 on the knob written in small black marker (one also had his
number written on the barrel end). Interestingly I have also
seen several of his bats with an "X" on either the knob or on both
ends. I believe this has been used in indicate a bat is
cracked after it has been broken. I have seen other
players/teams do this and do not believe it is unique to Joe.
As one might expect from a great left handed
contact hitter, a heavy concentration of seam and ball marks can
almost always be found on the left handed side of the barrel.
However, all of the Mauer bats that I have owned have also had deep
seam marks on other areas of the barrel to some degree. So there is
not the same kind of extremely consented area of seam marks that I
have seen on with other great contact hitters like Brett and Gwynn.
I have seen photos of Mauer hitting with both the label up and down
which would explain seam marks on both sides of the barrel.
Although this information is not earth shattering by any means, it
is my hope that his information along with posted photos will aid
any collector interested in obtaining a high quality Mauer game used
bat in determining what traits to look for.