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Former Twins Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan among those on Hall of Fame ballot

Torii Hunter, David Ortiz and A.J. Pierzynski are on the ballot, as well.

Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Nathan throws in a game in 2011. File photo / TNS
Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune/TNS

ST. PAUL -- Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan, members of the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame, are among the group of players who will be considered for the National Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time this winter.

Former Twins David Ortiz and A.J. Pierzynski will appear on the ballot for the first time, as well. Outfielder Torii Hunter, who received votes on 9.5 percent of ballots during his first year of eligibility, will be eligible again.

Morneau, who was inducted officially into the Twins’ Hall of Fame in September, was the American League Most Valuable Player in 2006, a four-time All-Star and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. After leaving Minnesota, he won a National League batting title with the Colorado Rockies in 2014, hitting .319 that year.

For his career, Morneau hit .281 with a .828 OPS. The first baseman hit 247 home runs over the course of his 14-year playing career. Morneau was drafted by the Twins in 1999, debuted in 2003 and played in Minnesota until a midseason trade in 2013.

Nathan, a longtime teammate of Morneau, finished his 16-year playing career with 377 saves, good for eighth on the all-time saves list. He topped 40 saves in four different seasons and finished his career with an 89.1 save percentage. The six-time all-star had a career 2.87 earned-run average.


Ortiz, who was released by the Twins in 2002 before becoming a star in Boston, and new Timberwolves part owner Alex Rodriguez are the two biggest names gaining eligibility this year, though both were linked to PEDs during their playing days, which will affect their chances.

Additionally, the Golden Days Era Committee will consider a class of players that will include former Twins Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat. That group is scheduled to be voted upon on Dec. 5. Oliva missed enshrinement by one vote in 2014, the last time he was considered.

Results of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting will be announced on MLB Network live on the night of Jan. 25. Hall of Fame induction is set to take place on July 24, 2022 in Cooperstown, New York.

Minnesota Twins teammates Joe Mauer (7) and Justin Morneau (33) head back to the dug out after Morneau's two-run home run against the Houston Astros at Target Field in Minneapolis on Aug. 2013. Anna Reed / Star Tribune / TNS

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