Many people in Twins Territory are hoping that former Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau will return to Target Field for next week’s All-Star Game.
Joe Mauer is helping lead the charge.
Mauer recorded a short video urging Twins fans to vote for Morneau in the Final Vote, which allows fans to select one of five finalists in each league for the last spot on the All-Star roster. Despite batting .315 with 13 homers and 59 RBI, Morneau — now with the Colorado Rockies — was not selected on the initial National League roster. He’s up against Washington’s Anthony Rendon, Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo, Miami’s Casey McGehee and Atlanta’s Justin Upton in the Final Vote.
Perhaps Mauer’s message is working. Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Morneau is currently leading the Final Vote in the National League. Balloting ends at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday.
Morneau was drafted by the Twins in 1999 and made his big league debut with Minnesota in 2003. During his 11 seasons in Minnesota, Morneau appeared in four All-Star Games and also won a Home Run Derby. A concussion in 2010 altered the rest of Morneau’s time in Minnesota, as he never did return to an All-Star Game in a Twins uniform.
He now has a chance to play in one again, only this time in a Rockies jersey. As many throughout Minnesota are surely voting for Morneau, his best friend and former roommate will help stuff the ballot box.
"The guy’s having a heck of a year out there in Colorado," Mauer said in the video. "And I know a lot of fans would love to see him here in Minnesota to play in front of his hometown fans."