Joe was offered
football scholarships by Florida State, Miami, Arizona and Minnesota.
Joe made All-Metro
First Team in basketball during his senior year in high school. He led his team to
the semifinals of the 2001 state championships.
Joe is one of a
handful of baseball greats from St. Paul, including Paul Molitor, Dave
Winfield and Jack Morris.
Joe was named All-State
in three sports during his senior year at Cretin-Derham.
Joe struck out
just once in his high school career and finished with a .567 average.
Joe was the first
athlete named the nation’s top high school football and baseball
player in the same season.
Joe was a member
of the USA national junior baseball team in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He
was voted the best hitter in the world junior tournament in Panama in
Joe was the First-Team
catcher on the 2001 High School All-America squad. Other first-teamers
included J.J. Hardy, David Wright and Scott Kazmir.
In 2001, Joe was
named High School Player of the Year by Gatorade, USA Today and Parade Magazine.
Before Joe, the
last high-school catcher drafted #1 was Danny Goodwin in 1971. The last
catcher to be taken with the top pick was B.J. Surhoff in 1985.
In 2007, Joe hit an inside-the-park homer against Scot Shields of the Angels.
Joe was the staring catcher for the AL in the 2008 and 2009 All-Star Games.
Joe’s 32 RBIs in May of 2009 equaled a franchise record set by Harmon Killebrew in 1960.
In 2009, Joe became the first player to lead the AL in batting, slugging and on-base percentage in the same year since George Brett in 1980.
Joe’s 2010 contract extension made him the highest-paid catcher in baseball history.
Joe was the first back-to-back AL batting title winner since Nomar Garciaparra in 1999 and 2000.
Joe was the second catcher to win the AL MVP since Thurman Munson in 1976. Ivan Rodriguez was the AL MVP 1999. Other AL catchers to win the award ae Mickey Cochrane, Yogi Berra and Elston Howard.
Joe is the first catcher in history to win three league batting championships. Before him, a total of three titles were won by catchers—one by Bubbles Hargave in 1926, and two by Ernie Lombardi, in 1938 and 1942.
Joe was picked as the cover boy for PlayStations’s MLB:10 The Show. He was the first catcher to earn this honor.
Joe dated former
Miss USA Chelsea Cooley in 2006.
for hitting to the opposite field in the minors prompted some teams
to concoct a backwards shift.
during his first spring training was veteran backstop Tom Prince.
Joe played for
the U.S. team in the 2003 Futures Game. He also played for Team USA
in the Olympic qualifying tournament that year.