Justin Ernest George Morneau (born May 15, 1981) is a Canadian professional baseball first baseman for the Colorado Rockies of Major League Baseball. He has previously played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Minnesota Twins. At 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) and 220 pounds (100 kg), Morneau was drafted as a catcher by the Minnesota Twins in 1999. He converted to first base in the minor leagues and made his MLB debut in 2003. He has held that position throughout his career and became the first Twin since Gary Gaetti in 1987–1988 to hit 30 home runs in consecutive seasons.
A four-time All-Star, Morneau was the American League Most Valuable Player during the 2006 season by helping the Twins win their fourth division title in five years. He finished runner-up for MVP in 2008 and won two Silver Slugger Awards as well as the 2008 Home Run Derby. Internationally, Morneau represented Canada at the 2006, 2009, and 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Midway through the 2010 season, Morneau suffered a concussion while sliding into second base. The injury sidelined him for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. Up to that point, he was the fan voted leader to start the All-Star Game at First Base and a leading candidate for his second AL MVP award. Despite making the opening day roster in 2011, Morneau dealt with numerous injuries and sustained another concussion during the season that limited his production. Morneau has recovered from his ailments and has since split time between designated hitter and first base.
By Dean Hanley
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