Michael Cuddyer wants his cards back05/27/2008 12:40 PM ET
By George Castle / Special to MLBPLAYERS.com
With his start in center field last week, Michael Cuddyer has now played every position as a Major Leaguer except pitcher and catcher (including an appearance at shortstop in the 2004 Hall of Fame Game).
"This completes my tour around a Major League baseball field," the versatile eight-year veteran said.
It will be a fun fact to look up on his baseball cards someday, but, for now, his collection of mostly '80s and '90s stars remains at his parents' house. Cuddyer recently talked about his collecting days in an interview with MLBPLAYERS.com:
MLBPLAYERS.com: Which cards did you collect?
Cuddyer: Mark McGwire was huge then -- 1987-'89. Jose Canseco, too. Also Barry Bonds starting with the Pirates. Then Ken Griffey Jr. came along in the early 1990s. I've got two unopened Upper Deck sets. Why? My dad (Henry) said they'd be more valuable down the road if we left them in the cellophane. Somebody at a hobby shop advised him -- I was a big Yankees fan. I just bought packs. I didn't go to the hobby shops. I had them in team order in notebooks.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Those were peak Twins years with two World Series championships. Which players did you collect from those teams?
Cuddyer: I'm sure I had some (Dan) Gladden cards in there, some Bert Blyleven cards. We had the Danny cards with the wristbands. I had some (Kirby) Puckett cards, but not rookie cards -- I was hoping to get them. I have (Kent) Hrbek cards. I remember having some (Kevin) Tapani cards, Gene Larkin cards.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What do you plan to do with this collection?
Cuddyer: They're in the attic of my dad's house. I keep telling him I'm going to come over and put them in the attic of my house. I've got a son on the way and maybe he will be able to inherit them. You remember all those stories that someone would have 75 Mickey Mantle rookies and put them in his bike spokes, and his mom threw them away. Well, maybe they'll throw away the Barry Bonds cards away and I'll have them. Or the Griffey ones.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Where did you first appear on a card?
Cuddyer: I did have a T-ball card when I was 6 years old. Funny thing was, it was the first time I could ever play organized baseball. Two days before my first game, I broke my thumb. In the card, I have a cast holding the bat. I was playing kickball. A guy kicked the ball and I went to catch it, but the ball snapped my thumb. If (my Twins teammates) saw the card, they would ask "How do you break your thumb when you're 6 years old?"
MLBPLAYERS.com: What was your first pro card?
Cuddyer: It was in the Instructional League (Ft. Myers, Fla.). It was the 1997 or 1998 Topps Stadium Club card. It was an action shot. I was batting, but there was nobody in the stands in Instructional League. Yet they superimposed a full bleachers, so it made me look like I was playing in front of a couple of thousand people. That was cool. I also had a card where I was playing in the (Midwest League) All-Star Game in Clinton, Iowa. It made me look like I was 8 years old.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What's your favorite big league card?
Cuddyer: It was a game in Oakland, and I think it was a Topps card. The only reason I know when it was is I don't wear a shin guard very often. I had a shin guard on this day, I actually went 4-for-4 with a home run and three doubles. I'll always remember what I did that day and that card.
Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.