According to a release by MLB on April 8, fans can visit MLB.com/FranchiseFour to select the four most impactful players for each franchise who best represent the history of each franchise out of eight choices from its lineage. There is also a space for a write-in selection. Voting is live now until May 8.
Bert Blyleven (1970-1976, 1985-1988)
Rod Carew (1967-1978)
Walter Johnson (1907-1927, Senators)
Jim Kaat (1961-1973)
Harmon Killebrew (1961-1974)
Joe Mauer (2004-Present)
Tony Oliva (1962-1976)
Kirby Puckett (1984-1995)
Shoestring Catches Recommendations for the Minnesota Twins:
Rod Carew: Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991, Rod Carew won seven batting titles with the Twins. Carew was named the American League Most Valuable Player in 1977 when he batted .388. He finished his career with 3,053 hits.
Harmon Killebrew: The first player in Minnesota history to have his number retired, Harmon Killebrew hit 475 of his 573 home runs for the Twins. Killebrew hit more than 40 homers eight times in his career. His best season was in 1969 when he was named the American League Most Valuable Player after a season that featured 49 homers and 140 RBI.
Tony Oliva: The 1964 American League Rookie of the Year, Tony Olivia would win three batting titles for the Twins. Oliva led the AL in hits on five occasions and had 220 home runs in an injury plagued career.
Kirby Puckett: Probably best known for his game-winning homer in the sixth contest of the 1991 World Series, Kirby Puckett was so much more. One of the most popular players in Minnesota history, Puckett was a 10-time all-star, while winning six Gold Gloves and five Sliver Sluggers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Editor’s Note: The Minnesota Twins are now 55 years old since moving from Washington D.C. prior to the 1961 season. Three of the players on the Twins ballot played in Washington for the Senators (Nationals) before the franchise shift. Harmon Killebrew (1954-1960) and Jim Kaat (1959-1960) began their careers in Washington, but spent the majority of their time with the Twins. Walter Johnson is one of baseball’s all-time greats after spending his entire career with Washington. Johnson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 as a charter member after finishing with 417 victories and an all-time record 110 shutouts. His 3,509 strikeouts were the most all-time until 1983 when he was passed by Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton and Gaylord Perry during that season.