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Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby Puckett, 1960-2006

While I have never been a fan of the Minnesota Twins (they're in the same division as the White Sox, after all), I have always admired and respected Kirby Puckett, their Hall of Fame centerfielder. He played the game with an infectious joy and an incredible energy that lifted his teammates time and time again.

Now, stunningly, only five years after his induction into Cooperstown, Kirby Puckett is dead of a stroke at the age of 45. Only Lou Gehrig was younger at the time of his death among those who were inducted while living, which makes this all the sadder.

Yes, he had problems in his personal life after having to retire from baseball in 1996 due to a diagnosis of glaucoma in his right eye. Yes, he had to go through a messy divorce as a result of all that.

Tonight, though, I remember the fluid swing that led the Twins to World Series wins in 1987 and 1991 and that garnered over 2300 hits in his 12-year career. I want to remember, even though I rooted for the Braves that year, his game-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1991 Series that saved it for the Twins. It is still remembered as one of the greatest moments in Series history.

Now, he's gone, just like that. For more remembrances, I recommend Bat-Girl's site; she has been hilariously funny in past posts about Twins' baseball. However, tonight, she, along with Twins' fans and all baseball fans, mourn Kirby's passing as a deep loss for baseball and anyone who loves it, as I do.

This really stinks.

1 comment:

Richmond said...

From a lifelong Braves fan who fell into despair after Game 6 in 1991, your memorial about Kirby was well and poignantly put. Rest in peace--