My husband is a sports guy, so I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of sports players over the years. I've had opportunities to do things that other people usually don't get to do. But, I'm not the biggest sports fan in the world. I'll admit that I've met players and have had no idea who I was meeting.

We were at the Twins Winter Caravan a few years ago and Joe Mauer was the guest of honor that year. He's the player who everyone showed up to meet. It was a packed house, weather was bad outside and he was running a little late. We were all waiting for him to show up.

I was standing in a back hall area waiting for my husband to finsh up some of his radio interviews with the other players at the caravan before the event started. A random guy walked up and stood behind me and asked if this was the carvan entrance. He came in through the back alone. We were the only two people in this little hallway waiting for some of the interviews to finish up. So, naturally I started to make awkward conversation with this stranger.

I asked the stranger if they were excited for Twins Caravan and who their favorite players were...I might have [definitely] even asked this stranger if he was there to see Joe Mauer like everyone else. He laughed a little and said something to the effect of, 'Joe Mauer isn't that great.'

We talked for a few minutes before the interviews ended and we were both able to go back into the room where the radio people and players were.

My husband saw me enter into the room with this stranger and he immediately runs up to me and says, "did you know you were standing next to Joe Mauer?!"

A wave of embarrassment washed over me as I recalled the conversation I had just had with one of baseball's biggest stars. Unbeknownst to me, I had just asked Joe Mauer if he was excited to meet himself. Surely it was the most embarrassing moment of my life. I mean, most people in the crowd were there to see this guy and I didn't know what he looked like.

But, he never corrected me. He never made me feel bad about not knowing who he was. He was really nice. Later in the night I got a photo with him. He knew that I had realized my mistake and was so graceful about it.

People have asked me how I could have possibly had no idea I was talking to Joe Mauer. But, I wasn't a big baseball fan, he wasn't wearing his uniform, he was in regular clothes and he didn't have an entourage of people with him. He was just your average Joe.

I'll never forget that night. It's a neat story to tell now that time has passed but it was extremely embarrassing for quite some time. There's no doubt he's an extremely kind-hearted person--even to a stranger in a hallway who had no clue who he was.

By the way, Twins Caravan is coming up again on January 22 at the River's Edge Convention Center.

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