It’s rare feat for a player to accomplish ‘the cycle,” the act of hitting a single, double, triple and homerun in the same game. I believe the Twins have only had 9, now 10, during the ballclub’s history.
I was in attendance to the Twins/Brewers game on Friday, May 22. I had my ticket for Section 102, Row 3, Seat 7 and was hoping for Joe Mauer to hit a homerun in my direction. I’ve been fortunate before sitting in roughly the same place of snaring a Miguel Cairo ground rule double last season.
Cuddyer, having already hit a monster homerun into section 101, came up to bat in the third and promptly drove a ball toward the left center gap in my direction. I stepped down a row and readied myself if the ball was not caught by the centerfielder. The ball bounced and I was able snag it as it one hopped over the wall. I was now holding onto Michael Cuddyer’s ground rule double. I high-fived a couple Brewers fans and one lady behind me thanked me for saving her…really?! The ball wasn’t anywhere near her
It was pretty cool to catch a game ball. Before regularly coming to games, I had never gotten a ball before, let alone a game ball. I know it is a minor accomplishment and not all that meaningful; however, growing up it was something I always wanted to do but never did (sitting in the upper corners of the upper deck at the Metrodome may have a little to do with that).
I hadn’t really thought much about Cuddyer’s homer and double until he hit a seeing eye single up the middle. Waldo, a local ballhawk at the Metrodome, held up three fingers at me signaling Cuddyer’s need. Cuddyer only needed the triple to complete the task of the cycle. I say ‘only,’ but that is the hardest hit to get and it is what usually keeps players from completing the cycle. Not being as fleet of foot, Cuddyer is not the odds on favorite to hit a triple. I start running scenarios in my mind of how Cuddyer could do it. He’d have to either squirt a ball down one of the lines and into the corner along with a little bit of the ball bouncing around a bit, or he’d have to a ball to the right center gap and have the ball take a luck hop away from the fielder. I didn’t give Mikey much of a chance.
After getting down to his last strike in the 6th and an iffy chance at another AB later in the game with the Twins leading by a large margin, Cuddyer fought the ball off, splintering his bat and SQUIRTED THE BALL DOWN THE LEFT FIELD LINE! When Ryan Braun took his sweet time getting over to the ball in the corner, the Twins fans rose and cheered as Michael made his way into the bag at third. He had completed the cycle, and I was thrilled to be in possession of a part of that.
Here’s the ball. You can see the scuff from when the ball landed on the track and bounced.