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What athletes with Minnesota ties will be the next Hall of Famers?

Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins legend, to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame after appearing on 1st-
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins legend, to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame after appearing on 1st- 02:49

MINNEAPOLIS — With Twins legend Joe Mauer becoming the latest local athlete inducted into the hall, who are other athletes that Minnesota fans watched recently that could follow him?

Some are waiting for their call while others are shoo-ins.

Sure thing

Marc-André Fleury

Winnipeg Jets v Minnesota Wild
SAINT PAUL, MN - DECEMBER 31: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Minnesota Wild makes a save against the Winnipeg Jets during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on December 31, 2023 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

The Wild's 39-year-old goaltender now sits second all-time in career wins in the National Hockey League. "Flower" has been a part of three Stanley Cup-winning teams and backstopped the Vegas Golden Knights to a cup appearance in their first season in 2018. He won his sole Vezina Trophy — given to the NHL's best goalie in a season — at age 36 in 2021. He is just the fourth goaltender in league history to play over 1,000 games. Could this be it? Fleury is not under contract for next season and says he will decide on his playing future later.

Larry Fitzgerald

Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald celebrates after his touchdown catch in the fourth quarter as the Pittsburgh Steelers face the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, Sunday, February 1, 2009. Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The sure-handed NFL wide receiver from Minneapolis played high school football at the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield. Fitzgerald is second in NFL history — only behind Jerry Rice — in career yards with 17,492. He only trails Rice in receptions as well. The former third-overall pick in the 2004 draft went to 11 Pro Bowls and was once a First-Team All-Pro and twice a Second-Team All-Pro. Fitzgerald grew up as a ball-boy for the Minnesota Vikings when they were coached by the late Dennis Green.

Adrian Peterson 

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers
GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 03: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings hurdles Damarious Randall #23 of the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter of their game at Lambeau Field on January 3, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Wesley Hitt / Getty Images

The Vikings drafted "All Day" with the seventh pick in the 2007 draft. Peterson did not disappoint, amassing the fifth-most rushing yards in NFL history with 14,918. His best season was in 2012, when he carried the Vikings to the playoffs and ran for 2,097 yards, only coming eight yards shy of Eric Dickerson's record. That season, he became the only non-quarterback in the last 16 years to win the league's MVP award.

Terrell Suggs

Buffalo Bills v Baltimore Ravens
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 09: Linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Suggs was the tenth pick in the 2003 draft and won the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He is the all-time Baltimore Ravens leader in sacks and eighth in league history with 139. Suggs was raised in St. Paul and played youth football with Mauer. He moved to Arizona in middle school. The NFL has tracked tackles for loss since 1999, and Suggs sits at the top of the list. He's also a two-time Super Bowl champion. Quite the career.

Patrick Peterson

NFL: OCT 30 Cardinals at Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 30: Minnesota Vikings Cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) breaks up a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) during the first quarter of a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals on October 30, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The longtime Arizona Cardinal was selected with the fifth-overall pick in the 2011 draft and was a teammate of Fitzgerald's. A three-time First Team All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler, Patrick Peterson only played two seasons with the Vikings, the latter being the magical 2022 13-4 season where the Vikings became the first team in league history to go 11-0 in one-score games. He was named to the 2010s All-Decade Team, and the 33-year-old just finished his first season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The ball hawk is first among all active players with 36 interceptions

More than likely 

Jared Allen

Jerry Holt 11/09/2008----] Vikings Jared Allen celbrated with Kevin Williams his sack for a saftey of Packers quarteback Aaron Rodgers in the second quarter.
Jerry Holt 11/09/2008----] Vikings Jared Allen celbrated with Kevin Williams his sack for a saftey of Packers quarteback Aaron Rodgers in the second quarter. Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images

One of the Vikings' premier pass rushers in franchise history, Allen was recently named one of 15 finalists for the 2024 Hall of Fame class. This is his fourth year in a row as a finalist. It feels like it's only a matter of time until he goes to Canton. The class of 2024 will be announced at the NFL Honors show on Feb. 8 in Las Vegas. A five-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro, Allen had 85 sacks in purple and 136 for his career, a marking that's good for 12th in NFL history. Vikings fans remember his best season in 2011 when he had an absurd 22 sacks, only a half-sack away from Michael Strahan's record at the time. Strahan now shares the title with Pittsburgh's T.J. Watt, who tied the number in 2021.

MORE NEWS: Vikings legend Jared Allen says team shouldn't bring back Kirk Cousins: "Nothing personal"

It might be a coin flip

Harrison Smith

Dallas Cowboys v Minnesota Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - NOVEMBER 22: Harrison Smith #22 of the Minnesota Vikings tackles CeeDee Lamb #88 of the Dallas Cowboys during their game at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Smith was flagged with a personal foul on the play. / Getty Images

The Vikings' safety nicknamed 'Harry the Hitman' for his physical play has had a remarkable career in Minnesota. Is it over yet? No one is quite sure if Smith will return in 2024. He was drafted 29th overall in 2012. Smith is a six-time Pro Bowler and was an All-Pro in 2017. He's second among active players — behind Peterson — with 34 career interceptions. He's played 12 seasons and has the 10th most sacks for a safety in NFL history.  Bill Belichick compared Smith to the likes of Hall of Famers Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu when the Vikings played the Patriots in 2018. "Harrison Smith does a great job with pre-snap disguise. He's one of the best. Ed Reed, Smith, Polomalu, those guys are among the best. He's certainly right there," Belichick said. Smith would become just the second safety to play the majority of their career in Minnesota to go to Canton, joining Vikings' legend Paul Krause.

The numbers say yes, the voters say no because of steroids

Alex Rodriguez

New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins
MINNEAPOLIS - AUGUST 13: Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins talks to Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees at the Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 13, 2008. The Twins defeated the Yankees 4-2. Bruce Kluckhohn/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The soon-to-be part-owner of the Timberwolves, "A-Rod" is just one of nine players in MLB history in the 600 home-run club, with 696. He's only one of four players in the club that also has 3,000 hits. Rodriguez will likely never be a Hall of Famer though to due performance-enhancing drug use. He's far from the only one in that camp. Barry Bonds, the MLB's all-time leader in home runs, is not in Cooperstown also due to steroid use. Rodriguez only received 35% of the vote this year. 

MORE NEWS: Wolves co-owner Alex Rodriguez says he's been diagnosed with early-stage gum disease

Sky is the limit

Justin Jefferson 

He's officially joined the Vikings' pantheon of elite wide receivers — and if Jefferson stays on his current pace, he will easily get in and join Randy Moss and Cris Carter, the only two Vikings wide receivers to go to the Hall of Fame. 

We're watching...

Kirill Kaprizov

The Wild's 26-year-old is in his fourth season with the team. "Kirill-the-Thrill" averages more than a point a game and is the best player to ever wear a Wild sweater. His path to Toronto is imaginable.

Napheesa Collier

The Lynx's 27-year-old star averages almost 17 points per game. That number looks to be on an upward trajectory, as the forward put together her best season of her career last year, where she averaged 22 points a contest. Collier already sits 15th all-time in that category.

Anthony Edwards

The former first-overall pick is averaging 26 points per game this season. He is only 22 years old. Given how much of a star-driven league the NBA is, the Timberwolves' success in the postseason may have more of an impact on Edward's candidacy. But he sure looks the part.

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