If there is one thing that Twins catcher Joe Mauer is known for besides his natural swing, it may be his trademark sideburns.
And it's those mutton chops that are on display in one of the Twins' newest television commercials set to begin airing Monday, Feb. 27.
Mauer's commercial is a takeoff of the famous soft drink commercial from the 1970s featuring Mean Joe Greene. In that well-known ad, Greene is handed a pop from a young child and the scene ends with Greene throwing his jersey to the kid.
Only in the Twins' version, it's the team heartthrob drinking water and instead of throwing his jersey to the young fan nearby, Mauer places his sideburns on the face of the kid.
"I don't know what the big deal is with the sideburns," Mauer said with a laugh. "But it made a funny commercial out of it, that's for sure."
The theme once again of this year's ad campaign, designed by the Minneapolis-based marketing group Periscope, is "This is Twins Territory." The idea behind the commercials is to combine Twins players with fans in humorous-type spots that display the excitement of attending a Twins baseball game.
Another ad set to run Monday shows Torii Hunter dropping in on a children's birthday party. From bobbing apples to playing with a piñata, Hunter almost seems to enjoy the event in the commercial more than the kids do.
"It was so much fun working with these young kid actors," Hunter said. "We had a great time and those kids are truly amazing."
Similar commercials ran last year with one featuring former third base coach Al Newman waving "home" an office employee into an elevator. This year's ads hope to capitalize on that same type of humor. By the sounds of laughter coming from the office of Twins manager Ron Gardenhire as players viewed the new ads, it seemed like the goal was accomplished.
"Last year, I just kind of remember Newmy's being pretty funny but all the ads are pretty good this year," Mauer said.
Two more ads will be released in the coming weeks with one featuring Gardenhire and the other, Twins mascot T.C.
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.