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Joe Mauer Mania

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- It's not every day that Joe Mauer walks on to your baseball field.

"He's kinda the hometown hero I get to see locally in Cedar Rapids," says Twins fan Heidi Laabs.

It's enough to plan your entire summer vacation around a trip to the City of Five Seasons.

"We were in the quad cities a couple of nights ago and we found out Joe Mauer was going to be in town, so we made sure that our trip was to stop in Cedar Rapids tonight," says Twins fan Tony Meyers.

They aren't the only ones who stopped by. Ever since Mauer stepped up the plate this week on a rehab assignment with the Kernels, so have the fans.

"Yesterday we had a near sell out, we tripled in a Tuesday in August probably what we would have done normally," says ticket sales director Andrea Brommelkamp.

Crowds weren't as large Wednesday, as many fans weren't really sure if Mauer was playing or not. However, ticket sales were still strong, and the excitement was infectious.

"He's usually the player you can count on to be great in a game," Laabs says.

"It's nice that he comes to a small town like that, he doesn't seem like he's a big shot or anything like that or he makes $23 million," says Meyers. "He just fits in with the rest of the players."

Long after Mauer slides back into home base back in Minnesota, the hope is that some of that passion rubs off, as the Kernels begin their march towards the playoffs.
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