Major League Baseball named Twins first baseman Joe Mauer as this year's All-Star ambassador on Thursday, a distinction that has previously gone to the likes of Torii Hunter, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton and David Wright.
Mauer will be responsible for helping promote the All-Star festivities, which start with All-Star FanFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center on July 11 and run through the All-Star Game itself at Target Field on July 15.
"It's going to be a great event," Mauer said. "It's not just one day, it's a whole week. Actually it's the months leading up to it. I've been fortunate to go to a few [All-Star Games] over my career, and I know that we're going to put on a great show here in Minnesota. Baseball fans are going to see how good of fans we have here in Minnesota and what a beautiful ballpark we have."
Major League Baseball also named four former Twins as official spokesmen for this year's All-Star FanFest: Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Bert Blyleven and Paul Molitor.
The FanFest is advertised as "the world's largest interactive baseball theme park with over 400,000 square feet of baseball-related attractions for fans of all ages."
"The All-Star week has become a big deal," Molitor said. "It was always special to players, but obviously the size of the event has grown exponentially over the past decade or so. And I think we're very privileged to have one of the best players over the last decade [Mauer] to be not only from this area, but having an opportunity to represent us as our main ambassador for the current players."