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08/11/06 12:55 AM ET
Mauer honored with Sideburn Night
Twins fans, players slap on giveaway to emulate catcher
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have long talked about how they wished they could make a carbon copy of their star catcher, Joe Mauer. And from the looks of it on Thursday night, they did. The Twins hosted "Joe Mauer Sideburn Night" at the Metrodome, and with the large number of mutton chops that adorned thousands of faces in the crowd -- and Mauer's teammates, as well -- it's clear that everyone wants to be like Joe. Sideburn Night certainly seemed to play well to the 30,118 fans that were in attendance for the Twins' game against the Blue Jays. Staring out into the crowd, there were plenty of black sideburns on the faces of men and women alike. And while the crowd enjoyed the night, the Twins players had their fair share of fun getting into the event, as well. During batting practice, the sideburns could be seen in any direction you looked on the field. But the thick, fuzzy pieces of hair weren't just for use as sideburns, as plenty of players had fun turning them into bushy eyebrows, mustaches, undereye black, and just about anything you can imagine. Juan Rincon made his own sideburns a tad longer while Jason Bartlett took the opportunity to make his a little bushier. Justin Morneau got the award for the best Mauer look-alike as the two stood side by side, although Morneau's blond curls were peeking out from his hat a bit. It was a bit of change for the superstitious first baseman, who doesn't seem to change up his routine much. "He's probably thinking he's going to hit .370 if he wears them," Bartlett said with a laugh. Torii Hunter even donned some for an appearance on "The Best Damn Sports Show." It didn't look too odd when Hunter was wearing his hat, but when it came time for the clean shaven head to appear with the bushy sideburns, there were plenty of laughs all around. The first 10,000 fans in attendance received the synthetic sideburns in a promotion sponsored by Mall of America to celebrate its 14th anniversary, and it didn't take long for all of those sideburns to be gone. But for anyone who couldn't get their own sideburns on Thursday night, the Twins Pro Shops are going to soon start selling the stick-on pieces of hair. But if backup catcher Mike Redmond has his way, fans will have to be purchasing more than just stick-on sideburns to look like the Twins' No. 7. "I'm trying to get him to grow a goatee," Redmond said with a laugh. "He needs to mix it up a bit. Maybe then we can have Joe Mauer Goatee Night."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.