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Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau

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Justin Ernest George Morneau (born May 15, 1981) is a Canadian Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 (MLB) first baseman
First baseman
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner in order to score a run for that player's team...

 for the Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

. At 6 feet 4 inches and 225 lbs, Morneau was originally drafted as a catcher
Catcher
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to...

 by the Twins in 1999. He converted to first base in the minor leagues and made his MLB debut in 2003. A four-time All-Star, Morneau was the American League Most Valuable Player during the season and finished runner-up in 2008. He has also won two Silver Slugger Awards and the 2008 Home Run Derby
2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby
The 2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby was held on Monday, July 14, 2008, at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City...

.

Early years, high school and minor league careers


Morneau is the youngest son of George Morneau, a hitting coach for many softball and baseball teams, childcare worker, and sporting goods store owner, and Audra Sinclair, an elementary school teacher and former fastpitch softball
Softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...

 player. Justin has an older brother, Geordie. His father once played hockey for the Brandon Wheat Kings
Brandon Wheat Kings
The Brandon Wheat Kings are a Canadian junior ice hockey team based in Brandon, Manitoba. They compete in the Western Hockey League, and joined the league in the 1967–68 season. Prior to that they played in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and were known as the Brandon Elks for a short time in the...

 and attended the training camp of the Minnesota North Stars
Minnesota North Stars
The Minnesota North Stars were a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League for 26 seasons, from 1967 to 1993. The North Stars played their home games at the Met Center in Bloomington, and the team's colors for most of its history were green, yellow, gold and white...

, coincidentally a team representing the same state in which his son would later play baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

.

Morneau grew up in New Westminster, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, the historic "Royal City," adjacent to Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, where he played hockey for the local minor team, the New Westminster Royals, and emerged as a star goaltender, playing for teams a year older than he was.

He also played baseball in the New Westminster Minor Baseball Association and for the North Delta Blue Jays
North Delta Blue Jays
The North Delta Blue Jays, are a Canadian youth baseball team located in the city of Delta, British Columbia. The team was founded in 1995, and joined the B.C. Premier Baseball League in 1999. The team plays their home games at Mackie Park....

 in the B.C. Premier Baseball League
B.C. Premier Baseball League
The British Columbia Premier Baseball League, commonly referred to as the BCPBL or the PBL, is a competitive youth baseball league consisting of 13 teams located throughout British Columbia, Canada...

.

Morneau attended Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School
Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School
Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary is a public elementary school in New Westminster, British Columbia part of School District 40 New Westminster. The school was later renamed Lord Tweedsmuir after John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir, the Governor General of Canada from 1935 to 1940. It has an early French...

 in New Westminster, later transferring to Richard McBride Elementary School, where his mother was a teacher and coach and where he enrolled in a French immersion
French immersion
French immersion is a form of bilingual education in which a child who does not speak French as his or her first language receives instruction in school in French...

 program. He played basketball and volleyball and ball hockey on the school teams.

Growing up, Morneau was an avid sports fan, whose favorite athletes included hockey players Patrick Roy
Patrick Roy
Patrick Edward Armand Roy is a former Canadian ice hockey goaltender. Nicknamed "Saint Patrick," Roy split his professional career between the Montreal Canadiens, whom he played with for 10 years, and the Colorado Avalanche, whom he played with for 8 years, both of the National Hockey League...

, fellow Vancouverite Cam Neely
Cam Neely
Cameron Michael Neely is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey player. He played right wing for the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League from 1983 to 1996. He currently serves as the president of the Boston Bruins.-Playing career:Cam Neely was born in Comox,...

, Ray Bourque
Ray Bourque
Raymond Jean "Ray" Bourque is a former Canadian professional ice hockey player. He currently holds records for most goals, assists and points by a defenceman in the National Hockey League . Bourque has become near-synonymous with the Boston Bruins franchise, for which he played 21 seasons and...

 and baseball players John Olerud
John Olerud
John Garrett Olerud , is a former American first baseman in Major League Baseball. Olerud played with the Toronto Blue Jays , New York Mets , Seattle Mariners , New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox ....

, Ken Griffey Jr, Jack Morris
Jack Morris
John Scott "Jack" Morris is a former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher. He played in 18 big league seasons between 1977 and 1994, mainly for the Detroit Tigers, and won 254 games throughout his career...

 and Larry Walker
Larry Walker
Larry Kenneth Robert Walker is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1989 through 2005, Walker played for the Montreal Expos , Colorado Rockies , and St. Louis Cardinals...

. He was a Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The team has been in existence since 1924, and is the league's third-oldest team and its oldest in the...

 and Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are a professional baseball team located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball 's American League ....

 fan.

Morneau attended St. Thomas More Collegiate
St. Thomas More Collegiate
Saint Thomas More Collegiate, St. Thomas More Collegiate or STMC is a independent private school located in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada....

 High School in 1994–95, for his grade 8 year, where he played basketball. Coaches approached him to play for the school's famed football program, based on his athletic ability, but he declined.

Morneau transferred to New Westminster Secondary School
New Westminster Secondary School
New Westminster Secondary School is a high school in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. It is one of the largest high schools in BC. Students of grade 8 to 12 are enrolled. The school offers various advanced programs such as the International Baccalaureate program, Advanced Placement...

 and graduated in 1999. He continued to play basketball and hockey while in high school. He was named the New Westminster High School Athlete of the year and was a member of Canadian national champion baseball teams in 1997 and 1998. In 1998, he was selected the best hitter and catcher of the National Championships playing for Team British Columbia.

Morneau's family is well known in New Westminster. On February 2, 2008, the city honored him by renaming Moody Park Diamond #5 to Justin Morneau Field. Morneau Field is located just 25 kilometres (15.5 mi) from a field named for one of Morneau's idols, Larry Walker Field, located in the nearby city of Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
Maple Ridge is a District Municipality in British Columbia, located in the northeastern section of Metro Vancouver. Maple Ridge has a population of approximately 68,949.-History:...

.

Morneau did not attend college, despite receiving many attractive offers from NCAA schools. He was selected by the Twins in the 3rd round as the 89th overall pick of the 1999 MLB amateur entry draft
1999 Major League Baseball Draft
The 1999 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball's annual amateur draft of high school and college baseball players, was held on June 2 and 3, 1999...

. In six minor league seasons, he hit .310 with 87 home runs, 153 RBI and 122 doubles. Morneau participated in the 2002 and 2004 All-Star Futures Game
All-Star Futures Game
The All-Star Futures Game is an annual baseball exhibition game between a team of top minor league prospects from the United States and a team of prospects from other parts of the World...

s, playing for the World teams.

Morneau was listed by the Portland Winter Hawks
Portland Winter Hawks
The Portland Winterhawks are a major junior ice hockey team based in Portland, Oregon, playing in the Western Hockey League, a member league in the Canadian Hockey League. They play their home games at the Memorial Coliseum, though typically a few games each season are also played in the...

 of the Western Hockey League
Western Hockey League
The Western Hockey League is a major junior ice hockey league based in Western Canada and the Northwestern United States. The WHL is one of three leagues that constitute the Canadian Hockey League as the highest level of junior hockey in Canada...

, attended training camp, and played one preseason game of Major Junior hockey as a goaltender. Morneau chose his jersey number (33) for goalie Patrick Roy
Patrick Roy
Patrick Edward Armand Roy is a former Canadian ice hockey goaltender. Nicknamed "Saint Patrick," Roy split his professional career between the Montreal Canadiens, whom he played with for 10 years, and the Colorado Avalanche, whom he played with for 8 years, both of the National Hockey League...

. He is also listed as to winning the Memorial Cup back in 1998 with the WinterHawks
As Morneau put it, "I was the third goalie. A backup to the backup. If somebody got hurt, I might have gotten out there as a backup. I played in an exhibition game and backed up some regular-season games.". Morneau remained on Portland's Protected Player List until he decided to focus on baseball instead of hockey. According to Winter Hawks assistant coach at the time, Mike Williamson, "He was young and raw — a big guy who covered a lot of the net. I remember a conversation we had with him when recruiting him. We told him he should go to hockey because not many Canadian guys end up going very far and doing very well in baseball. He showed us otherwise."

Minnesota Twins



2002 season


Morneau played for the World team in MLB Futures Game, July 7 in Milwaukee. Morneau was twice named Eastern League Player of the Week, April 22–28 and July 15–21. On September 3, Morneau was promoted to Minnesota's Triple A team, The Edmonton Trappers
Edmonton Trappers
The Edmonton Trappers were a minor league baseball team in the Pacific Coast League, ending with the 2004 season. Home games were played at Telus Field in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada....

. During his first Triple A season, Morneau won the PCL championship with the Trappers.

2003–05 seasons


Morneau made his major league debut with the Twins on June 10, 2003, going 2 for 4. A week later, he hit his first career home run off Royals reliever Albie Lopez
Albie Lopez
Albert Anthony "Albie" Lopez is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He graduated from Mesa Community College. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 20th round of the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft. Lopez was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the second round of the expansion...

. Morneau went on to hit four home runs in his rookie season while batting .226. However he spent the majority of the season with the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings
Rochester Red Wings
The Rochester Red Wings are a minor league baseball team based in Rochester, New York. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins major-league club. The Red Wings play in Frontier Field, located in downtown Rochester.The Red Wings were an...

.

In 2004, after compiling impressive minor league numbers, the Twins dealt veteran first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz
Doug Mientkiewicz
Douglas Andrew Mientkiewicz is a first baseman who last appeared in the majors in with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He bats left-handed and throws right-handed...

 to the Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 and Morneau became the Twins' starting first baseman. He appeared in 74 games for the Twins in 2004, hitting 19 home runs and 58 RBI in 280 at bats while committing just three errors.

The 2005 season was a struggle for Morneau, as he dealt with a variety of off-season illnesses as well as being hit in the head by a pitch in April. Although he never appeared to fully shake off his early season setbacks, Morneau finished the 2005 season second on the Twins in home runs with 22 and paced the squad with 79 RBI.

Prior to the 2006 season, Morneau suited up for his native Canada in the 2006 World Baseball Classic
2006 World Baseball Classic
---------Pool B:-------------Pool C:-------------Pool D:-------------Pool 1:-----------------Pool 2:-------------Finals:-Semifinals:-Final:-Final standings:...

. He hit .308 with 3 doubles and 2 RBI in three games.

2006 season


After a slow start to 2006, Morneau exploded offensively in the months of June, July, and August, raising his batting average nearly 50 points in June after beginning the month hitting .240. He raised his average another 33 points in July and after June consistently appeared near the top of the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 leaderboard in batting average, home runs, and RBI. On August 9, Morneau became the first Twin since 1987
1987 Major League Baseball season
The 1987 Major League Baseball season ended with the American League Champion Minnesota Twins winning the World Series over the National League Champion St...

 to hit 30 home runs in a single season. He finished the season hitting .321 (6th in the AL) and slugging .559 (6th in AL) with 34 home runs and 130 RBI. He was second in the league in RBI and tied Larry Walker's 1997
1997 Major League Baseball season
*American League Championship Series MVP: Marquis Grissom**American League Division Series*National League Championship Series MVP: Liván Hernández**National League Division Series...

 total for the most RBI in a season by a Canadian. For his hitting, he won the 2006 American League Silver Slugger Award representing first basemen.

On November 21, Morneau won the American League Most Valuable Player Award
MLB Most Valuable Player Award
The Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award is an annual Major League Baseball award, given to one outstanding player in the American League and one in the National League. Since 1931, it has been awarded by the Baseball Writers Association of America...

 in a close vote over Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter
Derek Sanderson Jeter is an American baseball shortstop who has played 17 years in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. A twelve-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion, Jeter's clubhouse presence, on-field leadership, hitting ability, and baserunning have made him a central...

 of the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

, becoming only the fourth player in Twins history (after Zoilo Versalles
Zoilo Versalles
Zoilo Casanova Versalles Rodriguez , nicknamed "Zorro", was a Cuban shortstop in Major League Baseball, who was considered a solid leadoff man, and a good baserunner whose speed helped him to cover a huge area at shortstop...

, Harmon Killebrew
Harmon Killebrew
Harmon Clayton Killebrew , nicknamed "Killer" and "Hammerin' Harmon", was an American professional baseball first baseman, third baseman, and left fielder. During his 22-year career in Major League Baseball , he played for the Washington Senators, a team which later became the Minnesota Twins, and...

, and Rod Carew
Rod Carew
Rodney Cline "Rod" Carew is a former Major League Baseball first baseman, second baseman and coach. He played from 1967 to 1985 for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels and was elected to the All-Star game every season except his last. In 1991, Carew was inducted into the National...

) to receive the honor. He became the first Canadian to win the AL MVP award, and the second Canadian to win a major league MVP award (Larry Walker
Larry Walker
Larry Kenneth Robert Walker is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1989 through 2005, Walker played for the Montreal Expos , Colorado Rockies , and St. Louis Cardinals...

 was the first, having won the NL MVP Award in 1997; Walker and Morneau were joined in 2010 by Joey Votto
Joey Votto
Joseph Daniel "Joey" Votto, is a Canadian Major League Baseball first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. He is the 2010 NL MVP, the recipient of the National League Hank Aaron Award for 2010, and won the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's athlete of the year in 2010.-Early life:Votto was born on...

).

2007 season



Morneau played in 157 games, hitting 31 home runs. In May 2007, Morneau won the Player of the Month
Player of the Month
The Player of the Month Award is a Major League Baseball award named by each league every month of the regular season. The National League started recognizing the award on June 4, 1958. National League president Warren Giles conducted a poll of baseball writers in each Major League city and...

 in the American League for the first time in his career.

Morneau appears on the cover of the arcade baseball video game The Bigs
The Bigs
The Bigs is an arcade-style baseball video game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Wii and PlayStation Portable. It was released in June 2007 in North America, and in October in Europe...

 in Canadian stores and at Best Buy
Best Buy
Best Buy Co., Inc. is an American specialty retailer of consumer electronics in the United States, accounting for 19% of the market. It also operates in Mexico, Canada & China. The company's subsidiaries include Geek Squad, CinemaNow, Magnolia Audio Video, Pacific Sales, and, in Canada operates...

 stores in the United States.

Morneau was named to the 2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2007 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 78th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League and the National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10, 2007, at AT&T Park, the home of the NL's San Francisco Giants...

 roster in 2007 for the first time. He also participated in the 2007 State Farm Home Run Derby for the first time. He was up first and hit 4 homers and ended up tying with Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols
José Alberto Pujols Alcántara , better known as Albert Pujols , is a Dominican-American professional baseball player, who is currently a free agent...

 in the first round. He was subsequently eliminated with only one homer on 5 chances in a tie-off. Pujols advanced to the 2nd round with 2 homers.
Morneau had his first career three home run game on July 6, 2007, against the Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

. He had a solo, a 2-run, and a 3-run homer. He had an at bat to try for his fourth home run, but his bat got under the ball, and he flew out to deep left field.

2008 season


On January 25, 2008, Morneau agreed to a six year contract worth $80 million, which at the time was the longest and richest contract in Minnesota Twins history until in 2010, teammate Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer
Joseph Patrick Mauer is a Major League Baseball catcher for the Minnesota Twins. He is the only catcher in Major League history to win three batting titles...

 signed an 8-year, $184 million contract. Morneau produced with his new contract, as he played in all 163 of the Twins' games and hit .300 with 23 home runs and 129 RBI.

On July 6, 2008, Morneau was announced as a reserve player for the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 in the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 79th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League and the National League , the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York, home of the New York Yankees, on...

.

On July 10, 2008, Morneau tied a career high with 5 hits in a game as the visiting Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers
Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers are a Major League Baseball team located in Detroit, Michigan. One of the American League's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in as part of the Western League. The Tigers have won four World Series championships and have won the American League pennant...

. He hit what went on to be the game winning home run to finish the day 5 for 5 with a walk in a 7–6 11-innings win.

On July 14, 2008, Morneau won the 2008 Home Run Derby
2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby
The 2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby was held on Monday, July 14, 2008, at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City...

, defeating Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers
Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are a professional baseball team in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, based in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers are a member of the Western Division of Major League Baseball's American League, and are the reigning A.L. Western Division and A.L. Champions. Since , the Rangers have...

. He became the first Canadian to win the Home Run Derby
Home Run Derby
The Home Run Derby is an event played prior to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It is a contest among the top home run hitters in Major League Baseball to determine who can hit the most home runs. The event is currently sponsored by State Farm Insurance...

.

On July 15, 2008, Morneau scored the winning run for the American League in the MLB All Star Game at Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium was a stadium located in The Bronx in New York City, New York. It was the home ballpark of the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1973 and from 1976 to 2008. The stadium hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history. It was also the former home of the New York...

 on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Michael Young.

On December 27, 2008, Morneau was awarded the Lionel Conacher Award
Lionel Conacher Award
The Lionel Conacher Award is an annual award given to Canada's male athlete of the year. The sports writers of the Canadian Press first conducted a poll to determine the nation's top athlete, of either gender, in 1932. Separate polls for the best male and female athletes were conducted beginning...

 as the Canadian Press Male Athlete of the Year, joining Ferguson Jenkins
Ferguson Jenkins
Ferguson Arthur "Fergie" Jenkins, CM, is a Canadian former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He was a three-time All-Star and the 1971 NL Cy Young Award winner. In 1991, Jenkins was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. During a 19-year career, he pitched for four different teams,...

 and Larry Walker
Larry Walker
Larry Kenneth Robert Walker is a former right fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1989 through 2005, Walker played for the Montreal Expos , Colorado Rockies , and St. Louis Cardinals...

 as the only Major League Baseball players to win the award.

Morneau finished second in the balloting for AL MVP, as Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Luis Pedroia is an American professional baseball second baseman with the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball. Pedroia has won several awards in Major League Baseball, including the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year and the 2008 AL MVP award...

 won, and Kevin Youkilis
Kevin Youkilis
Kevin Edmund Youkilis , also known as "Youk" , is an American professional baseball player with the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball...

 came in third.

2009 season


Morneau hit 30 home runs and was selected to the 2009 All Star Game on July 5, 2009. On September 14, Morneau was officially diagnosed of having a stress fracture in his back after a long slump, and therefore missed the rest of the 2009 season and the playoffs.

2010 season


Morneau got off to a strong start in the 2010 campaign, hitting a career first-half high .345 batting average and having a major-league leading .437 on-base percentage and .617 slugging percentage at the All-Star break. For the first time in his career, he was voted in by the fans to start the 2010 All-Star Game at first base, but ended up pulling out from the event after sustaining a concussion on July 7.

Morneau missed the remainder of the regular season with the effects of post-concussion syndrome
Post-concussion syndrome
Post-concussion syndrome, also known as postconcussive syndrome or PCS, and historically called shell shock, is a set of symptoms that a person may experience for weeks, months, or occasionally up to a year or more after a concussion – a mild form of traumatic brain injury . PCS may also...

. After the Twins clinched the American League Central Division championship, Morneau said that he was finally symptom-free. Morneau said he would be unavailable for the ALDS
2010 American League Division Series
The 2010 American League Division Series were two best-of-five game series to determine the participating teams in the 2010 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners and a fourth "Wild Card" team played in two series from October 6 to October 12...

, but that he hoped to be available for the ALCS
2010 American League Championship Series
The 2010 American League Championship Series was the best-of-seven game series pitting the winners of the 2010 American League Division Series for the American League Championship. The American League wild card-winning New York Yankees faced the American League Western Division champions Texas...

 should the Twins advance. On October 4, 2010, the Twins announced that Morneau would not return for the 2010 season, regardless of how far the team goes in the postseason.

Personal life


Morneau's parents divorced when he was 7 years old. His mother is a retired teacher and his father works in a warehouse. He has an older brother named Geordie. His mother remarried in 2006 and now Justin has two stepsisters. Morneau married Minnesota native Krista Martin in January 2009. Their daughter, Evelyn, was born on September 23, 2010.

He has purchased a home in his hometown of New Westminster, where he plans to live after his career is over. His house is just four blocks from Queen's Park, where he grew up playing hockey and baseball. As a minor leaguer in Florida, he experienced homesickness, and would log onto a Vancouver radio station online to hear the weather and traffic reports, and wonder what his friends were up to back home.

Morneau is extremely superstitious, and wears number 33 to honour his idol, ex-NHL goaltender Patrick Roy. As a young hockey player, he would refuse to leave the car for hockey games until the clock read :33 minutes past the hour.

Morneau has a superstitious routine on game day. Before each home game, Morneau stops by the same Jimmy John's
Jimmy John's
Jimmy John's is a franchised sandwich restaurant founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in 1983 and headquartered in Champaign, Illinois. The franchise has over 1000 locations in 39 states and has opened approximately 200 units per year for the last three years...

 Gourmet Subs, on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota and orders the same sandwich from the menu: Turkey Tom with no sprouts. Later, he drinks a slurpee
Slurpee
A Slurpee is a flavored frozen drink sold by 7-Eleven. In 1967, 7-Eleven licensed the product from the ICEE Company, and began selling it as the Slurpee.-Slurpee history:Machines to make frozen beverages were invented by Omar Knedlik in the late 1950s...

 from a slurpee machine in the Twins' clubhouse made of one-half Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew
Mountain Dew is a citrus-flavored carbonated soft drink brand produced and owned by PepsiCo. The original formula was invented in the 1940s by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman and was first marketed in Marion, VA, Knoxville and Johnson City, Tennessee. A revised formula was...

, one-half red or orange flavor.

He currently resides in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul.

The Justin Morneau Foundation was established by Justin Morneau and his wife, Krista, to support underserved communities with an emphasis on those where the Morneaus have lived.

Quotes

  • "(The Star Tribune
    Star Tribune
    The Star Tribune is the largest newspaper in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is published seven days each week in an edition for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. A statewide version is also available across Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The...

    ) said they were going to do it as more of a joke. I didn't really want to do it — I didn't really like it." — Morneau on newspaper's full page spread labeling him and Joe Mauer
    Joe Mauer
    Joseph Patrick Mauer is a Major League Baseball catcher for the Minnesota Twins. He is the only catcher in Major League history to win three batting titles...

     as the "M & M Boys."
  • "He didn't call me or anything. It was an accident, but a lot of people would have called to see how someone is doing after they got hit in the head. Especially if they had to go on the DL." — Morneau on pitcher Ron Villone
    Ron Villone
    Ronald Thomas Villone Jr. is a Major League Baseball left-handed relief pitcher who is currently with the Somerset Patriots. He has not been on the same team for more than two years in his major league career and due to his many baseball travels, some of his teammates have affectionately referred...

     after an April 2005 beaning.
  • "That felt pretty good. It was the situation too; it was a one-run game and I hit a three run homer and that was pretty cool." — Morneau on his three-run homer off Villone in September 2006. It was the first time he had faced the left-hander since the beaning.
  • "I don't like opening up the paper and reading...quotes about myself. I don't really like to see myself on TV or anything like that." — Morneau on the increased media attention he has experienced in 2006.
  • "You are just not really thinking about anything and seeing the ball well. You go out there and feel pretty relaxed and patient and when they give you that pitch, you do something with it."— Morneau on his 3 home run game on July 6, 2007
  • "I wasn't very impressed with that to tell you the truth. You figure they could find somebody to come and sing the song. They have a hockey team here, the Canadian teams play here. It's something that didn't really go over too well. I think if it happened the other way around, if they were playing in Toronto and they did that, it would have been a lot bigger deal. But nothing you can do about it." — Morneau on an incident after the Canadian anthem was not performed live at the 2009 Major League Baseball All Star Game but rather played on tape instrumentally

See also


  • List of Major League Baseball players from Canada

External links