R.I.P. to Ken Mauer Sr., a former minor-leaguer who became a Hall of Fame high school coach and a prominent part of St. Paul, Minn. baseball. He died from heart failure on February 26 at the age of 91. He was also the great-uncle of retired Twins star Joe Mauer.
Mauer graduated from Cretin High School in St. Paul and spent four years as an infielder in the minor leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization from 1944-45 and 1947-48. He started his pro career with the St. Paul Saints and also played in Trenton, Youngstown and Danville. In 182 minor-league games, Mauer hit .214 with 4 home runs.
Mauer also played basketball in Denver and St. Paul after graduating from the University of St. Thomas. According to his obituary in the Star-Tribune (see below), he coached baseball for one season at Macalaster College in St. Paul and won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title. He spent 13 years at St. Paul Humboldt High School, into the 1970s. He won seven city championships, three Twin City championships and three region championships.
Mauer also coached football at St. Paul Harding and taught English. He taught children in clinics that were partnerships between the Minnesota Twins Community Fund and Play Ball! Minnesota.
“I like to think that I’m showing the kids some skills so they can play baseball and have fun,” Mauer told the SC Times in 2014, when he was 87 years old. “None of them will go to the big leagues, though I hope some of them do. But I hope they further their education and go to college and play in high school and enjoy themselves.
“When I played, nobody showed me (anything). I had five brothers and they all played pro (baseball), too. So all of us kind of fed off of each other. I was the youngest one.”
Mauer was inducted into the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Athletics run in the Mauer family. In addition to great-nephew Joe Mauer, Ken’s son Jim was the quarterback for St. Cloud State. Sons Ken Jr. and Tom are basketball referees – Ken Jr. in the NBA and Tom in the WNBA.