Now let’s turn to another member of those cursed Twins teams. Michael Cuddyer was a solid all-around hitter who used his decent plate discipline, contact skills, and power to post a 112 career wRC+. He was something of a late bloomer, but managed to earn his way to two all-star games later in his career.
While Cuddyer mostly played in right field, he was kind of the prototype for the super-utility guys that emerged later in the aughts. He played games at all three outfield spots, first base, second base, and third base, though it’s worth noting that he wasn’t actually good at any of these positions.
Cuddyer made playoff appearances in seven different seasons in his career, including a trip to the World Series with the Mets in his final year in the league. One moment that stands out is from game 2 of the 2006 ALDS against the Oakland, when Cuddyer and AL MVP Justin Morneau hit back-to-back solo shots to level the game in the 6th inning.
Just like in Hawkins’ case, it all went downhill from here. Torii Hunter’s gaffe in center field quickly gave the A’s the lead back, and the 96-win Twins were soon swept out of the playoffs again. But hey, it must have been a nice moment while it lasted.