There are two measuring stick with which baseball teams have historically been judged by: World Series titles and Hall of Fame players.
When thinking of prestegious and capital-I Important teams, we tend to think of the gold standard being New York Yankees, who have won 27 titles and have more players than it's worth keeping track of.
Having a player in Cooperstown is a badge of honor and a sign of eternal respect that can't be taken away. It's not only validation for the player getting enshrined but for the fanbase that rooted for them throughout their careers.
Getting into the Hall of Fame is hard enough, but doing it on the first ballot is an even more exclusive clib to be in. Only 60 players have reached the iconic status of being selected to the Hall of Fame on their first try, which represents just 17 percent of the busts in Cooperstown.
How many first ballot Hall of Famers have the Minnesota Twins had?
Joe Mauer getting into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot isn't just impressive in its own right, it's one final feather in his cap in Twins franchise history.
More than a few players who ended up in Cooperstown spent time in Minnesota, with some having done so in memorable ways. Jim Thome, Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, and David Otiz are well remembered by Twins fans, but only two players have gone into the Hall of Fame with Twins caps on their bust.
Rod Carew was inducted the first year he was on the ballot back in 1991, becoming the first Twins player to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He was the second modern era Twins player to reach Cooperstown, joining Harmon Killebrew -- who surprisingly didn't get in until his fourth attempt.
Kirby Puckett is the only other Twins player to have gotten into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. He was inducted in 2001 and became only the third player to have a Twins cap on his Cooperstown bust.
Minnesota Twins Hall of Famers
Mauer is seventh Twins player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. There have been 22 other players associated with Minnesota who have reached baseball immortality, but they represent other primary teams at Cooperstown.
Paul Molitor is wearing a Brewers cap, David Ortiz is wearing a Red Sox cap, Jack Morris is wearing a Tigers cap, and so on. Walter Johnson is regularly celebrated as being part of Twins history, but he's in the Hall of Fame as a Washington Senator.
Prior to this year, only six players have busts in Cooperstown that are wearing Twins hats.
Mauer's induction also represents a recent glutton of Twins players reaching the Hall of Fame. It took 24 years before a player representing Minnesota got into the Hall of Fame when Harmon Killebrew was inducted in 1984.
Only two Twins players would be inducted in the 17 years between Killebrew getting in and Bert Blyleven getting the call in 2011. Mauer is the third proper Twins player to reach the Hall of Fame in three years, joining Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva who were inducted in 2022.