Kirby Puckett (1960-2006)

JMB · March 6, 2006 at 8:13 pm · Filed Under General baseball 

Puckett died today after suffering a stroke over the weekened. I know you guys are going to talk about this regardless, so rather than have it take over the comments, here’s a place to keep it on topic.


20 Responses to “Kirby Puckett (1960-2006)”

  1. pinky on March 6th, 2006 9:41 pm

    He was a lot of fun to watch. Too bad.

  2. msb on March 6th, 2006 9:50 pm

    Tony Oliva’s comment on sunday was telling– “the last few times I saw him, he just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger…”

  3. BelaXadux on March 6th, 2006 10:15 pm

    While I don’t have a lot of detail, he struck me in the last few years as an example of the guy who has no life(plan) after his sports career concludes, and so devours himself, fast or slow, in his case fast.

  4. Thoan on March 6th, 2006 10:18 pm

    Forty-five years old. I’m really in shock about this — he was impossible not to like, and a decade younger than moi. He never seemed to get over that gold-digger who got him charged with indecent liberties or assault or whatever; IIR, the jury cleared him in about twelve minutes. It looks like he ate eat himself to death afterwards. Seemed to be a great guy, didn’t let the stardom get to his head. At least he went swiftly.

  5. Hooligan on March 6th, 2006 10:35 pm

    Puckett sent me through a coaster of emotions over the last twenty years. His enthusiasm was contagious, his playmaking explosive, his clutch play legendary. But the recent discoveries of his exploits undermined the role model, Christian, and husband he postured to be.

    Like every rose-colored eulogy appearing on television tonight, I’ll try to remember Puck for his acheivements instead of his failures. Sadly, he made that hard to do.

    What a loss – in so many ways.

  6. Tim_G on March 6th, 2006 11:32 pm

    It’s too bad to see such a nice guy die so young.

    BTW, I can’t remember where I read it, but I seem to remember reading a headline a few weeks ago that said that HOF players have a short life expectancy. I didn’t read the article, just the headline. This seems to confirm that trend. Does anyone else know anything about this alleged trend? Is there any statistical significance there?

  7. Goose on March 6th, 2006 11:49 pm

    Wasn’t he born in 61?

  8. terry on March 7th, 2006 3:58 am

    I think Kirby only had 4 homers in the first 1200 at bats of his hall of fame career….is he an extraordinary outlier or does his career offer hope that Reed could develop 15-20 hr power too?

  9. shalgrim on March 7th, 2006 6:26 am

    The Star Tribune confirmed he was born in 1960, but that the Twins had always distributed a date of 1961 and he didn’t correct them.

  10. msb on March 7th, 2006 7:08 am

    it is probably a combination of the things mentioned in #3-5 that finally made up the last years of his life; we can hope that his friends who thought that in the last year he was turning things around were right….

  11. adamt on March 7th, 2006 8:27 am

    Re: #3

    Perhaps if his career didn’t abruptly end he would have had more of a plan for life after baseball.

    Definitely, a man with mystery surrounding him.

  12. eric on March 7th, 2006 8:29 am

    #8, Maybe if he starts playing half his games in the Homerdome:-)

  13. leetinsleyfanclub on March 7th, 2006 8:32 am

    I’m sure the feeling in Minnesota as they mourn Kirby is about what it would be like in Seattle if Edgar passed away.

  14. terry on March 7th, 2006 8:58 am

    #12: but Safeco is a boom for left-handed sock…. 🙂

    For the record: Puckett had 97 dingers in the metrodome and 75 on the road (not counting the playoffs I suppose) and a look at his OPS further supports a park effect for his numbers. However, he still went from essentially a singles hitter to a guy with 15-20 homer power outside of the Metrodome. Im holding out for a Puckett effect on Reed’s numbers 🙂

  15. msb on March 7th, 2006 9:20 am

    there is a nice piece by Gordon Wittenmyer, longtime Twins reporter

  16. Paul B on March 7th, 2006 10:20 am

    Kirby Puckett homers by season:

    Which is bizarre, but not unprecidented.

    A former Mariner with this sort of pattern for the first three seasons:

    Phil Bradley:

    And then, of course, Edgar Martinez who took longer than 3 years to reach his peak but also started slow in homers:
    (ignoring the first two seasons which each had zero homeruns, but only a handful of at bats since the M’s had a superstar third baseman named Jim Presley):


  17. bob montgomery on March 7th, 2006 10:59 am

    Edgar’s power development in 1995 is a bit exaggerated since it occurred at about the same time that power exploded league-wide, plus it was preceded by two injury-shortened seasons.

    Puckett didn’t just develop power after two seasons; his average jumped about 30 points as well. He developed as a hitter, not just as a power hitter.

  18. Smegmalicious on March 7th, 2006 12:44 pm

    Yeah, he had really let himself go:

  19. carcinogen on March 7th, 2006 2:14 pm

    One of my best memories of Puckett was a from a game in the Kingdome back in 1991. My cousin and I, as a gift from my Aunt, got to be in one of the booths and call the game. The M’s I think sold this as a package, and we were recorded and received a videotape of the experience after the fact. At any rate, our full inning of work including calling one of his at bats, where I believe he got gunned down trying to stretch a gapper into a double (against a young Jr….puh-lease) and a nifty little play he made on defense.

  20. joran on March 7th, 2006 9:43 pm

    RIP Kirby,
    you will be missed.

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