Hello everybody, and welcome back to our Friday discussion. After another dismal series in this dismal season, let’s throw open the curtains and let some light in. Our topic for today: Who will be the next Hall of Fame inductee to go in in a Twins cap?
The Twins have had only 7 players enter the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. Of these 7, 3 went in wearing caps of different teams (Dave Winfield, Steve Carlton, and Paul Molitor). The last Twin to go in was Bert Blyleven in 2011. But who do you think will be the next?
In my opinion, it’s going to come down to one of three different guys. However, there is a fourth (technically) in the running, and if things go very poorly, a fifth who could get in many years from now. I don’t have any current players on my list, because no proven players on the Twins are likely to be future hall of famers.
Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat were 1 and 2 votes shy, respectively, of getting into the Hall the last time the Veterans Committee voted. Both players are once again up for induction in 2022. Both players had excellent careers spent primarily or fully with the Twins, and I would not be surprised at all if either of these men were inducted in 2022. Tony Oliva, in particular, seems to be an especially deserving candidate (and notorious snub) despite his injury-shortened career.
Torii Hunter and Joe Mauer fall into this category. Torii, who is admittedly a long shot candidate, did garner enough votes in his first year on the ballot to appear again in the next vote (“unlike Johan Santana,” he grumbles bitterly). Joe Mauer will be on the ballot first in 2024. There has been much discourse about Mauer’s candidacy, ranging from “Will he be a first-ballot hall of famer?” to “Will he be a hall of famer at all?”, but personally, I’m very confident the hometown kid will get in in his first few years on the ballot. He should earn an excellent score in the “character” clause that the writers hold so dear.
The verdict for me: Tony O. I think the beloved masher from Cuba will indeed be inducted in 2022, and I certainly hope this to be the case. What do you think? Who’s next in your opinion? Drop it in the comments!