Twins' time to shine on HOF ballot on its way

Cabrera, Thome and Hunter among players who will become eligible in coming years

Twins' time to shine on HOF ballot on its way

The Twins didn't exactly have a lot of suspense going in this year's Hall of Fame results. Luis Castillo, who played two of his 15 Major League seasons in Minnesota, did not receive a vote in his only year on the ballot.

The time for Twins greats is coming. It won't be right away.

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Former Twins infielder Orlando Cabrera jumps onto the ballot next year, and Jim Thome -- who hit 37 of his 612 career home runs in a Twins uniform over two seasons -- becomes eligible for election two years from now. Newly retired Torii Hunter, who began and ended his illustrious career in Minnesota as one of the most popular players in franchise history, has a five-year wait before he becomes eligible.

They'll be among the most memorable figures from the Twins' near decade-long reign of contention in the American Leauge Central to be considered for Cooperstown. But they'll have to wait their turn.

Castillo, too, was part of that reign, albeit briefly. The Dominican-born speedster was a big acquisition for Minnesota when he was traded to the Twins before the 2006 season. His 25 stolen bases led the team that year, and his 173 hits trailed only Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer. He batted .337 over his final 48 games that season, playing a major role as the sparkplug in the Twins' season-ending charge to take the division title. On a Hall of Fame ballot crowded with more highly regarded candidates than many writers had slots to fit them, Castillo didn't stand a chance.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.