Dontrelle Willis

Joe Mauer 2002 River Bandits

Joe Mauer’s 2002 Season With the River Bandits

Joe Mauer short bio Quad Cities River Banits Minnesota Twins

Mauer’s short bio in the 2002 program

Here are some pictures I scanned from the Quad Cities River Bandits 2002 Program. There was an article in it featuring Joe Mauer, who had been selected as the #1 overall pick in the 2001 draft. Mauer played the full season with the River Bandits, and did really well overall. He played 110 games, and hit .302 with 23 doubles and 4 HR in 476 plate appearances. He was only 19 years old that season.

I saw Mauer play at least 4 games that season (I have ticket stubs for 4 games at least). Those games were on May 10, June 8, July 3 and July 15. Mauer did great in these games, as you’d expect. In those games he went 7 for 14 with 3 walks. I saw his homer on June 8, and I do vaguely remember it. He also had 1 double, 5RBI and 2R. I also saw Jason Kubel homer in that May 10 game, but I can’t say I remember that. Mauer had a key walk in this wild game I blogged about earlier where Dontrelle Willis started for Kane County.

Below are some more scans from the 2002 program. I scanned in Jason Kubel’s short bio. The program also contained an article profiling Mauer, talking about how he was drafted, his pedigree and how he did in rookie ball the year before. Expectations were pretty high, but he obviously lived up to them.

Jason Kubel short bio Quad Cities River Banits Minnesota Twins

Jason Kubel’s short bio in the 2002 program

Joe Mauer profile Quad Cities River Banits Minnesota Twins

Page 1 of the profile article on Joe Mauer (click for larger)

Joe Mauer profile Quad Cities River Banits Minnesota Twins

Page 2 of the profile article on Joe Mauer (click for larger)

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Dontrelle Willis Kane County Cougars card

Kane County Cougars @ Quad City River Bandits July 15, 2002

Joe Mauer River Bandits

This was a very eventful game, as you can see by the scorecard (see pictures at bottom). The River Bandits‘ catcher was Joe Mauer, and his brother Jake Mauer played 2B. I think you probably know where Joe Mauer ended up, but his brother Jake is now the manager of the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Future MLB players Garrett Jones and Jason Kubel were in the lineup at 1B and RF, respecitvely. Jason Miller was the starting pitcher for the Bandits. He did make it to the big leagues, but only appeared in 4 games, throwing 4 innings. It didn’t go well. The only future MLB player for the Cougars was their starting pitcher, Dontrelle Willis. I have to say when I found this old scorecard it was pretty cool to see his name on there.

Dontrelle Willis Kane County Cougars

I can barely remember much from this game since it was so long ago now. I do remember Willis getting one strikeout (he had 5). But the main thing I remember from this game was the crazy rally the River Bandits had. Heading into the bottom of the 7th, they were down 6-3 after the Cougars hit two home runs in the top. The Bandits got the two runs back in the bottom of the 7th to make it 6-5. It stayed that way until the bottom of the 9th. Jake Mauer got a leadoff single. The next two batters struck out. Joe Mauer drew a walk and finally Michael Sandoval got a bloop single to tie it. I can’t say I remember all that, but I do recall the bloop single clearly. After a scoreless top of the 10th, In the bottom of the 10th, Matt Abram led off with a double. The next batter got on base on a fielder’s choice that failed to get Abram at third. An intentional walk loaded the bases before James Tomlin hit a game-winning single.

This was one of the first games I attended after moving back to the Quad Cities and it got me hooked. It was also my wife’s birthday, although at that time we were still almost 2 years from getting married. Being on a Monday there was not a lot to do, so we went to the game. I remember sitting on the benches in the old stadium on the third base side. It was not a big crowd but I had fun talking with some of the people near me as I kept score. I may have had a beer or two that night, even though it was a Monday.