By: Samantha Cantrall, Communication Specialist at Hammer

When Kris went to Twins Fest with her Hammer staff Katie, she had one goal in mind – meet Joe Mauer.

There are many Minnesota Twins fans who have a special place in their heart for Joe Mauer, but Kris is an especially big fan. She has followed Joe’s triumphs on and off the field for years, but has never gotten the opportunity to meet him in person. Kris was SO close to meeting Joe last year, when he came to eat at the restaurant her sister owns in the Twin Cities. After Joe finished eating, Kris’ two sisters got their picture taken with him, making Kris even more determined to finally meet her favorite player.

Minnesota Twins Player Joe Mauer poses for a picture

Joe Mauer and Kris posing for a picture

Of course, this is a goal that many Minnesota Twins fans are likely to have, and the opportunity would not come cheap. At Twins Fest, fans pay for each player’s signature. The more famous the player, the more expensive the signature. Joe Mauer’s signature was going for $35 on the day that Kris and Katie went to Twins Fest. Katie gently explained to Kris that it might be too expensive to get Joe’s autograph, and suggested that they do some of the free activities first. Kris agreed.

The pair began walking around and exploring. They waited in line to see Brian Dozier, another Minnesota Twins favorite, and Kris got a high five. Then they discovered their big chance to see Joe Mauer, for free! Joe was scheduled to read a children’s story with TC Bear later that afternoon. A half hour before the scheduled reading, Kris and Katie found places to sit with a good view of Joe and the book he was reading.

Joe Mauer signing Kris' photo

Joe Mauer signing Kris’ photo

Finally, Joe came out to read his story with TC Bear. He finished the book, the crowd clapped, and then Kris got her big chance. She was nervous to approach him, but with Katie’s encouragement, she weaved through the crowd to say hello. Bravely, she introduced herself to her baseball hero.

Joe was fantastic. He immediately started a conversation with Kris after her initial introduction, much to Kris’ delight. “How are you today? Are you enjoying Twins Fest?” Kris quickly responded and brought out the picture to show him. “See?” Kris told him excitedly, “I’m the missing sister!” She pointed to the photo and told him that those were her two sisters. Joe remembered the lunch! He responded by insisting that he take a photo with Kris, so that she would have a memento as well.

As they said goodbye and Katie and Kris made their way back to the elevator, Kris was ecstatic. She had finally gotten to meet Joe Mauer, and she had a picture to prove it! It was a wonderfully fun and successful day.

Kris is supported by Hammer’s Individualized Community Services (ICS) team. Hammer ICS staff support individuals with disabilities in their homes, assisting with daily living goals and activities such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, self-care, or community outings. Individuals and staff are matched one-on-one, to ensure the highest quality of support and attention.