Twins management and most fans gave up on Aaron Hicks after three unsuccessful seasons from 2013-2015, when he compiled a .225 batting average and didn't come close to living up to expectations for a first-round draft pick.
He was traded to the Yankees for catcher John Ryan Murphy, who lasted for one season in Minnesota before ending up with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It's been long enough that Hicks isn't automatically called "ex-Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks." But he's become a big enough deal in New York that he signed a seven-year, $70 million contract with the Yankees before the start of this season.
On Tuesday, as the Yankees stormed back from an 8-2 deficit to beat the Twins 14-12 in 10 innings, Hicks played like a $70 million player -- or maybe a $700 million player, even.
What will be remembered more than anything is the catch that he made to end the game, robbing Max Kepler of a walk-off extra base hit. The game play-by-play merely says: "Kepler lined out to center fielder Hicks."
That's a bit like saying, "Stefon Diggs caught a touchdown pass against the Saints in the 2017 playoffs."
Here's what it looked like:
One inning earlier, in the top of the ninth, Hicks set himself up for his game-winning grab with a home run off Twins closer Taylor Rogers, who had retired the first two Yankees batters before a walk brought up Hicks to do this:
Even without those plays, you could make a massive highlights collage out of Tuesday's game. It would include the two home runs by Aaron Hicks and the five hits and seven RBI by Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, not to mention other moments from a night of 35 hits, 14 walks and 432 pitches.
It also featured after after-midnight social media explosion on Twitter. Some of the highlights from near and far:
More fun tonight, huh?