One of the reasons that J.J. Hardy was excited about joining the Twins was that it gave him the opportunity to once again be teammates with catcher Joe Mauer.
The two first met when they were both around 15 years old and playing for the U.S.A. Junior National team. They would play on many of the same national teams over the next few years, and were even roommates back in 2000 when the junior national team took the silver medal in Edmonton, Canada.
Hardy said the two have stayed in contact, although not much over the phone as he joked that Mauer has changed his phone number a few times in recent years. But during the two series between the Twins and Brewers every year, the two took some time to catch up.
Now Hardy is looking forward to hitting in the same lineup as Mauer once again.
“I’ve actually hit in front of Joe Mauer before on a couple of the USA teams that we played on together when we were 15, 16 years old,” Hardy said. “It worked out well for me back then.”
The Twins’ plans are to work this winter on signing Mauer to a contract extension. Hardy certainly supports the idea of having the catcher around for the foreseeable future.
“I know they’re already working on it, and I’m excited about that,” Hardy said early on Friday afternoon in an interview with MLB.com “I really like him. We clicked right from the start.”