I loved watching him when the Texas Rangers would play the Twins...he was only 44.
Baseball great Kirby Puckett has died...
Baseball has lost a great Ambassador. He will be missed.
I am in shock. He was soooo young.
I remember the World Series in 1987. I was living in Minneapolis at the time, and back then, all the talk was about Kirby. The second that the Twins won, I remember throwing on some jeans and a T-shirt, Homer Hanky in hand, and heading downtown to celebrate. Once the Metrodome cleared, everyone was downtown, and I have never seen such a huge party. Confetti being thrown from the tops of the buildings, and thousands of people in sheer excitement that the Twins had won the World Series, and everyone talking about the great Kirby Puckett. I believe that the night before, he had matched the World series record for Runs. He was a master at the game! I am glad that I had previously been to Twins games, and was able to see him play.
My hat goes off to you, Kirby, may you rest in peace...
O-M-G!! No, no, no! He was my hero as a kid (along with every other MN kid born in the 70-80's. I would go to the dome all the time and we would scream our lungs off when he would come to bat. He could send them out of the park. In his later years, after he retired, he got sort of weird, but in his hey-day he was THE man.
----Rest in peace Kirby---
This is so sad. Kirby would have turned 46 next week. (Major League Baseball's website had incorrectly listed him as 44 years old.)
It was sad that he had to leave the game due to glaucoma in 1996, after being beaned (hit in the head by a pitched baseball) in a game against the Cleveland Indians in 1995. He was still at the top of his game, but he was forced out and that seemed to never recover personally from that.
During the 80's and 90's, Kirby was the "Michael Jordan" of Minnesota sports. Yet he was also beloved by fans in other cities, and by other ballplayers too.
I heard accounts on the radio this morning how he treated every fan and even every team employee like they were special. Other stars, once they got "BIG", didn't have time for the ordinary people. Not Kirby. He would never leave the Metrodome parking lot until he had signed autographs for every kid who wanted one.
That picture on the initial post of this thread looks like the biggest moment of his career, when he hit the game-winning home run in the 11th inning of game 6 in the 1991 World Series against Charlie Liebrandt of the Atlanta Braves. Earlier in the game he made a game-saving miracle catch of a fly ball against the centerfield plexiglas. He lived up to his pregame promise to his team that he'd put them on his shoulders that night and carry them to a win. The Twins went on to win game 7 the next night in one of the most memorable and closely-contested World Series ever. (Both the Twins and Braves had finished in last place in their divisions in 1990, only to advance to the World Series in '91.)
Kirby showed enthusiasm on the field and personal interest in people off of it. He made a real difference in people's lives. Many "star" athletes of the current era could learn a LOT from how Kirby carried himself during his playing career.
I used to work for the Minnesota Twins and I distinctly remember seeing Kirby. He always cracked jokes with us consessionaires. He died the same way my dad died, which makes this even more painful.