As the Minnesota Twins look toward the future this offseason, there's a pretty good reason to stop for a minute and remember the past.
The 2024 Hall of Fame ballot was revealed on Monday and there are three former Twins players among the finalists hoping to get the call this year. Let's not dance around the obvious: Joe Mauer is making his first appearance on the ballot, something we knew was coming but is still awesome to actually see.
Mauer is joined by Torii Hunter and Bartolo Colon as former Twins players eligible to be inducted into Cooperstown. Hunter has been on the ballot before, and barely made the cut to remain on it this year so it's going to be interesting to see whether or not votes bounce his way.
All eyes are on Mauer, though, and whether he'll manage to become the third player in baseball history to enter the Hall of Fame on the first ballot while wearing a Twins cap. Players like Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, David Otiz, and Jim Thome all got in on the first ballot but didn't enter Cooperstown as Twins players.
Only Kirby Puckett and Tony Oliva are first ballot players with Twins caps on their busts. Mauer would make it a trio -- and what an absolutely legendary trio it would be.
How does MLB Hall of Fame voting work?
It's a bit of a complicated process for something that seems pretty straight forward. Because it's baseball, weird math needs to get involved to make a decision on who gets into the Hall of Fame, with a voting floor set that candidates on the ballot can't sink under.
Players on the ballot must receive at least 5 percent of all votes in order to remain eligble. If a player finishes a year with less than that total, they drop off the ballot and can no longer get tradtionally voted in.
If a player falls off the ballot it's still possible for them to make the Hall of Fame. Dropping off the ballot means that one of the various committees would need to agree to vote the player in, which has happened to players like Fred McGriff and others recently.
When will 2024 MLB Hall of Fame class be announced?
Monday was only the announcement of the finalists, as BBWAA members will spend the next month and change submitting their ballots for counting. The final results of the tallied votes will be revealed on January 23rd, although some writers may reveal their ballots early.
That date is the deadline, so we will hear the official class revealed at that time. Until then, players will be campaigning for votes as they try to secure the final out of their careers and ensure their baseball immortality.