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Kirby Puckett, RIP
March 6, 2006 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Kirby Puckett has died at the age of 44 after suffering a stroke.
posted by billysumday (99 comments total)

 
Considered a plucky player and good guy for much of his career, Puckett gave up baseball after glaucoma in his right eye forced him from the game, and later in his life suffered allegations of sexual and violent abuse.

Still, he died too young.
posted by billysumday at 5:38 PM on March 6, 2006


And in other news, a couple of kids 'round here died at ages 17 and 19, after crossing the centre line and piling head-on into a truck. Alcohol may have been a factor.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:39 PM on March 6, 2006


.

What a shame, I liked him when I was into baseball as a kid.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 5:42 PM on March 6, 2006


.
posted by xmutex at 5:43 PM on March 6, 2006


Here's a transcript of the 911 call for the ghoulish.
posted by tapeguy at 5:44 PM on March 6, 2006


my hat is off to baseball's largest ass.

not kirby himself, i don't know the man. but his ass? ginormous.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:45 PM on March 6, 2006


apologies if an ass size discussion is inappropriate for an obit thread.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:46 PM on March 6, 2006


I remember his retirement being a very sad thing in the baseball world. He was a real fan favorite in his day.

44 years is too young for anyone.

BTW, I wasn't familiar with all of these allegations, but it is good to know that urinating in parking lots is as noteworthy as sexual assault in this article.
posted by rob paxon at 5:47 PM on March 6, 2006


he was a good player, and seemed like a great guy, until it came out about him treating women like shit. Some of the stuff I read about him were terrible.
posted by b_thinky at 5:47 PM on March 6, 2006


.

i always liked puckett. all he ever wanted to do was get a hit, never swung for the fences when an opposite field single would do the trick
posted by dersins at 5:47 PM on March 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


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posted by MillMan at 5:48 PM on March 6, 2006


Cecil Fielder and Mo Vaughn simply must have had bigger asses. I'm awaiting Netcraft confirmation but in the meantime I'm going to assume that I am correct.
posted by rob paxon at 5:49 PM on March 6, 2006


yeah, that's sad. I was a big fan too. He really made you feel like you too could be a baseball player. Revealing a bit here, but it's okay to be sentimental in an obit. thread. Fat kids, you can make it too!
posted by setpounds at 5:50 PM on March 6, 2006


Kirby Puckett kicks the bucket.
posted by furtive at 5:51 PM on March 6, 2006


So was the glaucoma related to the stroke at all?
posted by smackfu at 5:51 PM on March 6, 2006


Furtive: Kirby Puckett kicks the bucket.

I'm sure I'll be going to hell for laughing so hard at that.
posted by b_thinky at 5:56 PM on March 6, 2006


.
posted by fixedgear at 5:58 PM on March 6, 2006


I enjoyed watching him play the game. Don't know anything about the guy as a person, but he seemed like the kind of player you'd want on your team.

and furtive owes me a new monitor, I just spewed Dr. Pepper all over mine. See you in hell, b_thinky.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:03 PM on March 6, 2006


Kirby Puckett kicks the bucket.

lol

Seriously though, I hate baseball and all sports, but when the Twins won the Series in 91, I was pretty enthralled, because it was the closest baseball team to where I lived, or something. Eh, I was a kid.

44 is too young to die of a stroke.
posted by cellphone at 6:03 PM on March 6, 2006


sigh.
posted by shoepal at 6:04 PM on March 6, 2006


dersins, you're absolutely right.

i don't know anything about his personal life, but he was a great ball player...
posted by narwhal at 6:05 PM on March 6, 2006


.

Kirby came in second in an ESPN poll of most beloved ballplayers of all time. He came in just a few points behind Ripken and finished ahead of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. I will never forget his performance in the '91 World Series. Truly a great of the game.
posted by Duncan at 6:08 PM on March 6, 2006


tapeguy, that transcript wasn't so ghoulish as the huge Micky Mouse ad that covered the text... sheesh, why not just put an ad on his tombstone too.
posted by Citizen Premier at 6:09 PM on March 6, 2006


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posted by phaedon at 6:11 PM on March 6, 2006


.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:11 PM on March 6, 2006


It's really hard to overstate the intensity of affection in which Minnesotans held Puckett, and I've long felt that that wasn't really a healthy thing. Kirby came to the Twin Cities and rose to stardom at a time (the mid-to-late 80s) when this traditionally lily-white area was seeing a significant influx of black people, many from the Chicago area, and there was a lot of vague but serious fear about gangs! and dangerous young black men from the Chicago projects!

And then, all of a sudden, there was Kirby, who grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, and yet who seemed so sweet, so wholesome and loveable, so innocent. Minnesota clasped Puckett to its collective Scandinavian wholesomeness-loving bosom; at the height of his popularity they sold teddy bears named after him in the local department stores and boutiques.

The point about a teddy bear, of course, is that it's defanged, desexualized, a creature that's lost its blood and its shadow. I used to wonder quite often what the hell it must really be like for Puckett to be so enfolded in this vast wave of sentimental idealization, which had a whole lot to do with a city in denial about racism finding a way to pretend that none of that was really an issue, because, look! Kirby grew up in the projects, and yet he's sweet and good and totally not dangerous or scary at all!

So the allegations of violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, were that much more shocking, and instead of trying to come to terms with all of it, the Minnesota collective psyche just sort of froze the whole thing out of awareness. And for those of us who remember how, back in the day, he was idolized as the black athlete who made us feel happy and fuzzy, his terribly early death isn't a resolution of all the confusion that came afterward; more like a slamming of the door on a whole bunch of tangled and uneasy stuff we have a stake in not understanding.
posted by Kat Allison at 6:11 PM on March 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


I am terribly saddened by this loss. Kirby Puckett was more than a great ballplayer, he was probably the most exciting guy to watch on the field...a human highlight film in his prime.

Anyone who saw it remembers his Game Six performance in the 1991 World Series -- that catch and that walkoff home run, you could just taste it. Unbelievable. Legendary.

"We'll see you tomorrow night" Kirby. Rest in peace.
posted by edverb at 6:14 PM on March 6, 2006


Kat, that was a very beautiful and wise post, and I didn't even know who Puckett was or care much about baseball. Thank you.
posted by digaman at 6:16 PM on March 6, 2006


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posted by wheelieman at 6:17 PM on March 6, 2006


Cecil Fielder and Mo Vaughn simply must have had bigger asses. I'm awaiting Netcraft confirmation but in the meantime I'm going to assume that I am correct.

I'll nominate Sid Fernandez for the Baseball Big Butt Hall of Fame. Pound for pound the widest load in baseball history.
posted by tiny purple fishes at 6:18 PM on March 6, 2006


.

When I was a kid, even though he played for our bitter rivals, I still liked Kirby.
posted by drezdn at 6:21 PM on March 6, 2006


Operator: OK. What does his coloring look like?
Caller: He’s black. He is a black man.


haha
posted by cellphone at 6:21 PM on March 6, 2006


.
posted by subgenius at 6:27 PM on March 6, 2006


.

This sucks. Anyone dying sucks. But athletes that are younger than me dying sucks on a very personal level.

Yes. I'm reacting very selfishly to this. But this is what I'm feeling.
posted by mmahaffie at 6:28 PM on March 6, 2006


Kat, I hear you.
During my brief sojourn in Chicago, Walter Payton died. (Same age, I think.) The city practically shut down.

.

One of my favorite ballplayers, and it's a shame he didn't take care of himself. His forced retirement hit him hard. He left the game too early, and died too early.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:48 PM on March 6, 2006


I was there for game 6 in 1991, and I'll never forget it. Godspeed Kirby.
posted by samh23 at 6:49 PM on March 6, 2006


.

Damn...him dying so young of a stroke makes me concerned for my own health.
posted by UseyurBrain at 6:49 PM on March 6, 2006


There seem to have been a number of symptoms that lead up to stroke. The bursts of anger could prove an interesting clue. Watch for the autopsy report if there is one.

Sad, so young. Hopefully he's in that cornfield in Iowa now.
posted by Gungho at 7:07 PM on March 6, 2006


If you saw a current picture of him anytime in the last year, I don't think you need to hypothesize what caused the stroke.
posted by apple scruff at 7:10 PM on March 6, 2006


Damn. I always loved the Puck. I remember being in a bar on Amsterdam & 80th the night he hit that momentous homer. Fare thee well, Kirby.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 PM on March 6, 2006


Whoa Apple, that's one big boy. What's he got under that shirt? the entire Union Gap?

FWIW are you suggesting that he was a tad overwieght, or steroids?
posted by Gungho at 7:14 PM on March 6, 2006


Well, I think he probably let himself go a bit in retirement, so I wouldn't worry too much UseyurBrain.

Kat's right. When the sexual allegations came out two or three years ago, it was a very weird atmosphere here in the Twin Cities. No one wanted to speak out against him, because he's 'such a great guy'. Even sports talk hosts were taking everything with a grain of salt. I felt sorry for the woman/en (assuming, y'know...he did it).

That said, he was a great player, and it was sad to see him exit the game so early. And life.

.
posted by graventy at 7:18 PM on March 6, 2006


Gungho, that's all natural flab there.
posted by graventy at 7:18 PM on March 6, 2006


Yeah, steroids don't belong in this discussion, Puckett was a hefty fellow but he wasn't very muscular. He was very much a finesse player, steroids would have ruined his career.

It was heartbreaking to see what a nasty, foul person he turned out to be once he was no longer protected by the game. All the same, when he was a major leaguer, he was one of the greats and a wonderful ambassador for the game. Weird how those things work out.
posted by Simon! at 7:24 PM on March 6, 2006


I wonder, given this stroke, if the violence and other problems weren't the result of some brain injuries caused by previous, small strokes. Elderly people can quite often have lots of small strokes that go unnoticed or unreported but which cumulatively can have a major effect on behaviour/personality.
posted by Zinger at 7:25 PM on March 6, 2006


Like many other fans, not just of the Twins but of baseball itself, I will continue to remember the Puck as one of the nicest guys ever to play the game. He was capable of things he shouldn't have been able to do. Heck, even the younger more in-shape guys on the field couldn't have made some of the plays he did when it mattered, and even when it didn't. I remember him always being gracious, and having a deep love for the game. That's what impressed me as a kid, watching the games. It's sad that later revelations have tainted the image of the man we once believed to be so good, but he remained a great ambassador for the game of baseball.

.
posted by kyleg at 7:27 PM on March 6, 2006


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posted by any major dude at 7:31 PM on March 6, 2006


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posted by entropy at 7:55 PM on March 6, 2006


[shrug]
posted by five fresh fish at 7:55 PM on March 6, 2006


Kirby Puckett and glaucoma, Ebony article from 1997.

In 1995, Puckett was hit in that same eye by a Dennis Martinez pitch. Speculation about aftereffects has never really gone away.
posted by gimonca at 7:56 PM on March 6, 2006


45
posted by mosessmith at 7:56 PM on March 6, 2006


[shrug]
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 PM EST on March 6 [!]


Why would you even take the time to post this?
posted by trey at 7:59 PM on March 6, 2006


That's actually two posts in this thread to show that you don't care about this man's death -- which is fine, but stop wasting everyone's time proving it.
posted by trey at 8:00 PM on March 6, 2006


Twin Cities local news is in full-bore hagiography mode right as I post this. As you'd expect.
posted by gimonca at 8:00 PM on March 6, 2006


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posted by chris24 at 8:04 PM on March 6, 2006


Will my Fleer Puckett rookie card go up or down in value, I wonder.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:09 PM on March 6, 2006


Why would you even take the time to post this?

Because I wish to discourage posts about minor celebrities' deaths. This guy wasn't internationally famous, nor even particularly famous across his nation. His death is arguably less worthy of attention than the one I mentioned; certainly it is less of a tragedy.

Minor-celeb deaths are not a path we want MeFi to start heading down.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:12 PM on March 6, 2006


50 posts in two and a half hours suggests you're wrong. Common sense suggests that it's not your place to tell us who we can and can't mourn.
posted by Simon! at 8:14 PM on March 6, 2006


I wonder why some news sources say he was 44 years old and some say 45. Shouldn't his date of birth be easily verified?
posted by stopgap at 8:20 PM on March 6, 2006


CNN, NYT, CBC...front page news across the continent.
posted by gimonca at 8:27 PM on March 6, 2006


Sometimes, reading comments like a few on this thread related to tragic events, somtimes, I'm ashamed to be part of metafilter. This is one of those times.
posted by thisisdrew at 8:28 PM on March 6, 2006


meta
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:35 PM on March 6, 2006


Common sense suggests that it's not your place to tell us who we can and can't mourn.

That is such an great thing to say.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:40 PM on March 6, 2006


I grew up in Boston, so I've always been a Sox fan. But it was the 1991 World Series to make me a baseball fan. Jack Morris's gritty game 7 was a big part of it, but without a doubt, the biggest reason I'm a baseball fan now is Puck's homer in game 6. Since then, baseball's sometimes been a distraction, sometimes a hobby, and (at least once) an anchor that got me though some tough times. And that all comes back to Puck. Thank you, Kirby Puckett. Rest in peace.
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:41 PM on March 6, 2006


People die too soon or too late, but never on time. I just made that up.
posted by PHINC at 8:41 PM on March 6, 2006


Kirby was fun to watch, he was short and pudgy compared to the other players but he always smiled and made plays that he didn't look physically capable of.

I think this made him kind of a hero to regular guy baseball fans. I liked him.

I don't really know anything about the allegations of Kirby being mean or mistreating women, and to those who knew him better this deserves to be part of his legacy. I however, only knew Kirby from the game and there he was magic.
posted by Deep Dish at 8:50 PM on March 6, 2006


Definitely not steroids. That definitely ain't muscle.
posted by apple scruff at 8:59 PM on March 6, 2006


He was the only opposing player I went specifically to see when he came to town to play the Jays, and he always seemed to kill them single-handedly, especially in the '91 ALCS:

1991 ALCS MIN TOR .429 .435 .762
posted by loquax at 9:04 PM on March 6, 2006


five fresh fish: Thanks for posting three times to tell everyone how much nobody cares.
posted by cellphone at 9:12 PM on March 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Kirby just loved to play the game...he certainly seemed to change for the worse after he was forced to retire from glaucoma...but that will never overshadow the way he played and that unforgettable game in 1991. Staying up for that game and hooping and hollering when it was over was an indelible part of my childhood (and every other kid that year in MN)

.
posted by lester the unlikely at 9:13 PM on March 6, 2006


To put the untimeliness of the end of career in perspective, Roger Clemens started his career the same year Puckett did, and is still going strong, 11 years after Kirby retired. Not to mention Julio Franco, who will turn 48 this year and plans to play until 50. His career was at least 7 years too short, and really ended at the height of his game.
posted by loquax at 9:18 PM on March 6, 2006


I was there for that World Series--a just-out-of-college kid with seemingly no hopes of getting tickets, I entered the Twins' lottery and somehow won. Game 6 was almost more amazing than Game 7, when they actually won it, and it was because of Kirby. Before the game, it was reported that he walked through the Twins' clubhouse and said "jump on my back, boys, I'll carry you." And dammit if he didn't do just that.

The Strib is reporting that when he went up to hit the famous Game 6 homer, he told a coach: "If they [Atlanta] leave that pitcher in, it's gone." They did, and it was.

When he retired due to glaucoma, he was amazingly OK with it. "Tomorrow's never promised," he said. No one knew that more than me: The dear friend who went to the Series with me, and helped me scream till I lost my voice, died just four years after the Series, of a pulmonary embolism. Tomorrow's never promised, not to a twentysomething high-school social-studies teacher from St. Paul or to a retired millionaire Hall of Famer. Never, never, never.

Kirby played with a joy that told us he always knew that.
posted by GaelFC at 9:28 PM on March 6, 2006


Some of you are totally without class. I'm not sure which is more sad, the fact that some people think it's appropriate to talk shit in an obit thread or Puckett's untimely death.

FFF, I'm looking at you.
posted by ryanhealy at 9:28 PM on March 6, 2006


When he retired due to glaucoma, he was amazingly OK with it. "Tomorrow's never promised," he said.

Actually, of all the controversial stories coming out about puckett over the years the most certain is that he did NOT deal well with his retirement.

One of his own teammates yesterday:

"It's a tough thing to see a guy go through something like that and come to this extent," former teammate Kent Hrbek said Monday night.

"That's what really hurt him bad, when he was forced out of the game," he said. "I don't know if he ever recovered from it."

posted by justgary at 9:46 PM on March 6, 2006


Puckett's list of accomplishments are seemingly endless:
  • Third youngest player inducted to Baseball HOF, and on the first ballot
  • Hit for the cycle on August 1, 1996, had two six-hit games (1987, 1991)
  • Led baseball in hits 1986-1995 (1940). For perspective...Tony Gwynn was second.
  • All-Star for the AL ten consecutive years (1986-1995)
  • Highest career batting average for rightie since Joe DiMaggio (.318)
  • More hits in his first 10 years than any player in the 20th century (2,040)
  • Led league in hits three consecutive years, one of only three AL players to achieve the feat (Ty Cobb & Tony Oliva being the other two)
This could go on and on...six consecutive doubles, eight "stolen HRs" in CF in one season, on and on. Such an amazing career, for which the stats don't begin to do justice to what it meant to see him play the game.

Oh. and God love him, he is credited with bestowing on Don Mattingly the nickname of "Donnie Baseball". A more perfect nickname there never was.

Bob Costas: "Tell me: When a dark side is revealed in a man, does that render all the good that man did as untrue?"

Statistical references: 1, 2, 3, 4
posted by edverb at 9:51 PM on March 6, 2006


bat girl wrote up an excellent farewell.
posted by MillMan at 10:00 PM on March 6, 2006


Justgary: I understand what you're saying, but here's the quote: "In July of '96, Puckett underwent career-ending eye surgery and, at a news conference at which almost everyone but Puckett cried, he told us, "Tomorrow is not promised to any of us."

I can't imagine having the strength to say that. Just can't imagine.
posted by GaelFC at 10:00 PM on March 6, 2006


In regards to those concerned about MeFi becoming a forum for discussing minor celebrities... I thought MeFi was an area for the discussion of anything. Anything catching the interest of it's members, and not just what is in fashion, not what is kneejerk culture or tech.

My father was in the hospital during the Twins vs Braves series. It is among one of the best memories I have of my father, watching games 6 and 7, and how amazing and infectious Mr. Puckett was. When Puckett made that catch, my dad didn't look old or sick or tired, he smiled like a happy kid.

To me Kirby Puckett will never be in the pidgeon hole of one-hit wonders and who-cares actors and actresses. He was no minor celebrity, he was a MLB player without peer.

He is in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for good reason.
posted by somnambulist at 10:09 PM on March 6, 2006


edverb: when that article you linked to came out several years ago, as a Twins fan growing up in MN watching Kirby play, it was very, very hard for me to read. As someone who doesn't idolize much of anything, Kirby was the only person to achieve that status in my mind.
posted by MillMan at 10:13 PM on March 6, 2006


I can't imagine having the strength to say that. Just can't imagine.

Yes, I agree. And there's wisdom in those words even if he had trouble following them (he's only human).

And it wasn't a dig at puckett. Having to leave the game with so many years left to play would be hard on anyone.
posted by justgary at 10:15 PM on March 6, 2006


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posted by foot at 10:27 PM on March 6, 2006


.
posted by wakko at 10:51 PM on March 6, 2006


.
posted by shmegegge at 11:19 PM on March 6, 2006


Kirby was my absolute hero when I was a young kid and in love with baseball. I read every book about him (including his "autobiography") and every day I would scan the sport section to he how he and the Twins had done the night prior.

One of my happiest memories as a kid was watching game 6 of the 1991 series, I don't know that I had ever been as ecstatic as I was then in my ten years which preceded it.

I no longer care about sports, and haven't for some years, but there has always remained in me a very deep love for Kirby. I am very sad to have woken to this news today.
posted by herting at 12:30 AM on March 7, 2006


I wonder why some news sources say he was 44 years old and some say 45. Shouldn't his date of birth be easily verified?
posted by stopgap


He was 8 days shy of 45. That's proabably where the confusion is coming from.
posted by pivo at 2:06 AM on March 7, 2006


Operator: OK. All right. Help’s on the way … call us back if anything changes, and remember, don’t give him anything to eat or drink. And is he on any medication?

Caller: Lipitor


Any change to Pfizer stock today?

My dad and grandad both died before 50. My thoughts go out to your family, Kirby. He's slugging angels now.
posted by Eideteker at 5:19 AM on March 7, 2006


I saw the report of Kirby's death this morning and actually thought about posting it myself, but then thought "how badly do you want to get flamed?" I'm glad billysunday did, and that there are so many MeFites who cared about the guy. An incredible player, and he made me very happy in those Series (the Senators/Twins were my primordial team, long before I moved to NYC and became a Mets fan... anybody else remember Warner Wolf saying "Senators win!" in '87?).

As for the allegations, a lot of people seem to assume they're all true. I personally wouldn't take as gospel whatever is said by ex-wives and -girlfriends. Not saying he was a saint (few of us are), just that if you would like to be given the benefit of the doubt if nasty things were said about you, you should do the same for Kirby.
posted by languagehat at 5:38 AM on March 7, 2006


God, he could play some ball. I live in Mpls, watched him play a lot.

I remember the parade after the '87 series, people just went nuts when he came by.

44 is way too young to die.
posted by mygoditsbob at 5:39 AM on March 7, 2006


August 5, 2001

"There may be a few people out there who remember a time when the word on Kirby Puckett was that he was too short or didn't have enough power to make it to the big leagues. Well despite the fact that I didn't get to play all the years I wanted to, I did it. And to any young person out there, if anyone tells you that you can't do what you want to do and be what you want to be. I wanted to play baseball ever since I was five years old. And I want you to remember the guiding principles of my life: You can be what you want to be. If you believe in yourself , and you work hard because anything, and I'm telling you anything is possible. It doesn't matter if you're 5'8" like Kirby Puckett or you're 6'6" like my man Winnie, you can do it. And don't feel sorry for yourself if obstacles get in your way. Our great Twins World Series teams faced odds and we beat 'em. Jackie Robinson faced odds and made this game truly the national game. And I faced odds when Glaucoma took the bat out of my hands. But I didn't give in or feel sorry for myself. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it may be cloudy in my right eye, but the sun is shining very brightly in my left eye. And just think how the sun has shined. Right up to the door of this great Hall, the shrine for the greatest game in the world and the greatest players in the world, baseball."

Youngest of 9 kids, raised on the mean streets of the Chicago projects.

RIP Bro.
posted by sfts2 at 6:21 AM on March 7, 2006


I went cold turkey on baseball after the last strike, and swore I would never, ever care so much about a sport or its players again. So my sadness at this news is all the more surprising.

RIP, Kirby.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 6:22 AM on March 7, 2006


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posted by AJaffe at 6:31 AM on March 7, 2006


.
posted by grubi at 6:45 AM on March 7, 2006


.

I grew up in Memphis, which was Cardinals or Royals territory in those days, depending on who you asked. But I was a Minnesota Twins fan after the first time I happened watch Kirby play on TV. He was good, and made it look fun. Roadtripped to Minnesota in '90 for a four-game series against the A's (heh), which they predictably lost 3-1; saw 'em again in Oakland during the '91 season; they fared better that week, as I recall.

My most recent trip to Minneapolis, I was pleased -- but not surprised -- to find that Chicago Avenue in front of the Metrodome is now named for Kirby.

RIP.
posted by Vetinari at 6:58 AM on March 7, 2006


I remember watching game 6 of the '91 series, seeing Kirby save the game in the 9th, then win it in the 10th. We were so excited we went out and tp-ed our (own) yard. Great memories :)
posted by bullitt 5 at 7:24 AM on March 7, 2006


On my block growing up in suburban St. Paul, there were six different pets (4 dogs, 1 cat, and a rat) named Kirby. Everywhere you go in Minnesota, you can hear people calling his name when looking for their pets. It's a great testament to how much he was loved in Minnesota.

RIP
posted by elquien at 7:25 AM on March 7, 2006


As a lifelong Twins fan, this is devastating. Yeah, he had his dark side but really, which of our heroes don't. But to see him play, to hear the roar of the crowd as he came to the plate and Bob Casey would make that long introduction, to see him leave EVERYTHING on the field for each and every game, it was just a joy to watch.

I was there for one of the '91 games. It was insanity. People around here can talk about their favorite teams: Vikings, Wild, T-Wolves, Gophers, but only the Twins have taken us to the Promised Land and they did it twice, more on guts than talent.

. indeed.
posted by Ber at 7:26 AM on March 7, 2006


RIP Kirby RIP.

Folks -- despite what was alleged about him, as far as I know nothing was proved. There was a settlement, I believe. He wasn't accused of rape, which would require physical evidence, but of assault, which ends up being all "she said/he said". Make of that what you will.

It sounded to me like a scam when that charge was leveled at him -- I mean, the guy was a millionaire, and making up shit to make a rich black man look bad and pay some hush money is not that hard of a stretch. Does anyone think that such a thing hasn't happened before? It's disgusting if it is true, but lots of folks are disgusting.

I don't know what the truth of those allegations was, and neither does anyone else except the person who made them, now. Now it's time to let them go.

But I will always remember his amazing joy -- baseball was a great game to watch when you knew Kirby was on your home town team. His joy was infectious.

Kirby, you will be missed.
posted by mooncrow at 7:44 AM on March 7, 2006


I don't know Kirby's drug history, but glaucoma and then death by stroke at 44, sounds like Kirby needed to smoke a joint instead of snorting a bump.

It's a sad event. Best of luck to his loved ones.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:41 PM on March 7, 2006


Kirby Puckett's Hall of Fame Plaque

KIRBY PUCKETT
MINNESOTA, A.L., 1984-1995
A proven team leader with an ever-present smile and infectious exuberance who led the twins to world series titles in 1987 and 1991. Over 12 seasons hit for power and average, batting .318 with 414 doubles and 207 home runs. Also a prolific run producer, scored 1,071 runs and drove in 1,085 in 1,783 games. A six-time gold glove winner who patrolled center field with elegance and style, routinely scaling outfield walls to take away home runs. The 10-time all-star's career ended abruptly due to irreversible retinal damage in his right eye.

Also see: Retrosheet
posted by rxreed at 1:43 PM on March 7, 2006


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