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Moment of Silence

March 7, 2006

Former Minnesota Twins outfielder and Hall of Famer, Kirby Puckett died last night at the age of 45. Beloved in Minnesota, and by true baseball fans everywhere, he will be missed.

He’s probably one of the most dynamic baseball players I’ve ever seen, and add to the fact that he played for my Twins…it was just so cool. Just as I was learning to become a Twins fan, is when he was coming to dominance on the field. Drafted by the Twins in 1982, he moved to the majors in ’84 and led us to two World Series Championships (’87 & ’91) in true championship form — with amazing defensive catches, late inning homers and mile-wide smiles. He was forced into early retirement because of eye deterioration, ending his career as a Twin and a player. My late grandmother, who inspired my love of the Twins, would scour the Trib for appearances and stand in line after line to get 8x10s, baseballs, autographs and glimpses of her favorite men in stripes. She’s probably waiting in line somewhere now to say “hi”. I wonder if they do autographs in heaven.

*Sorry for all the links, but they just say it better than I ever could. Like this guy, a local DCer who remembers Puckett fondly.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2006 1:55 pm

    I wondered when I’d hear from you on this.

    Well put.

  2. March 7, 2006 2:43 pm

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that thought of more than baseball when he died.

  3. March 7, 2006 3:07 pm

    That was a lot more real than my post about him.

    And DC Viking’s post was great also.

  4. March 7, 2006 5:03 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about the passing of a beloved athlete. I’m sure I’ll hear more about it from Grasshopper this evening.

    Did you hear (sorry to add sad on top of sad but…) about Christopher Reeve’s widow passing away this morning? 😦 So so young.

  5. March 8, 2006 5:31 pm

    45 is very young; what was his cause of death?

  6. March 8, 2006 5:39 pm

    He had a stroke. Dude just couldn’t catch a (health) break. (He was bling in one eye because of glaucoma…hence the early retirement).

  7. March 9, 2006 2:42 pm

    Would Kirby be the most beloved Minnesota athlete?

    If not, who?

    Rod Carew? Fran Tarkenton? Ahmad? some hockey guy?

  8. March 9, 2006 8:54 pm

    Phil, yes I would have to say he is the most beloved sports star in Minnesota. Hockey there is more local, so while it’s popular, there are just too many teams for any sort of immense popularity on any one person. And even though the glory days of the Purple People Eaters still lives on in memory, it wasn’t until the last few years that they actually started selling out the Dome for Vikings games. And the local TV deal there won’t allow them to broadcast games that are not sold out…so the Vikings (for a long time) were like the ugly stepchild because no one saw them play.

    Kirby Puckett is MN sports. Even all that stuff about abuse and cheating after his retirement hit the state hard, I mean people were taking it personally. So yeah, this is a big deal. I was surprised at how sad it made me feel.

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