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Killer, Kirby are early leaders on Twins' Franchise Four ballot

KANSAS CITY -- Major League Baseball released the first voting update of the Franchise Four for all 30 clubs, including the Twins, on Wednesday. The Franchise Four allows fans to vote for the most impactful players who best represent each MLB franchise.

For the Twins, the top four leading vote-getters in order are Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew and Tony Oliva. Of the four, Oliva is the only player who hasn't been inducted into the Hall of Fame, as he fell just one vote shy of election via the Golden Era Ballot in December.

The other four candidates are Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven and Walter Johnson, Joe Mauer and Jim Kaat. Johnson, considered by some to be the best pitcher in Major League history, is the lone candidate who never played for the Twins, as he spent his 21-year career playing with the Washington Senators, who later moved to Minnesota in 1961.

More than 11.8 million votes have been cast in the Franchise Four voting, and you can cast your ballot here. Voting ends on May 8, and winners from all 30 clubs will be announced at the 2015 All-Star Game, which will take place on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
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