The ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame 2024 election is now out. For the first time, Twins great Joe Mauer has his name on the ballot.
The 2009 MVP, three-time batting champion, and six-time All-Star catcher needs to be named on 75 percent of the ballots to earn enshrinement among the game's all-time greats.
Mauer might not have all the big stats of other Hall of Famers, but at his peak, Mauer was among the best catchers ever, which will make the decision a tough one for voters. Mauer's five-year run with the Twins from 2006-10 is clearly Hall-worthy.
Mauer is one of 12 former players on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. Among others up for election is former Twins outfielder Torii Hunter, who's is on the ballot for the fifth time.
The 2024 Baseball Hall of Fame induction is July 21st in Cooperstown, New York.
Other first year candidates in 2024 are Adrian Beltré and Chase Utley. They join some ballot veterans such as Todd Helton, Billy Wagner and Andruw Jones, who are trending toward enshrinement in Cooperstown.
2022 was a big year for former Twins with pitcher Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva finally getting the nod, and they went in with David Ortiz who played in Minnesota before really taking off in Boston.
There are 14 former Twins (that played at least a season) in the Hall of Fame. Seven Twins are in the Hall who played primarily with the team: Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Kirby Puckett, Bert Blyleven, Kaat and Oliva.
It's tough to get in on a first ballot, with Hall voters being notoriously difficult for first-timers. Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, and Paul Molitor are the only Twins' players to get in on their first try (with Winfield and Molitor going in wearing San Diego and Milwaukee caps on their plaques).
Mauer, of course, is a homegrown player for the Twins. He grew up in St. Paul and was a star athlete for Cretin-Derham Hall in football and baseball, plus played on a state tournament basketball team. He was the number one prospect in the country for the MLB draft and for college recruits. He signed with Florida State to play football, but eventually was drafted first overall by the Twins in 2001.
He made his debut in 2004 and spent his entire career with the team, retiring in 2018. His number 7 is already retired by the Twins, and he is in the team's Hall of Fame.