FanDuel - WFBC

March 06, 2006

Kirby Puckett Passes Away: Seeing things like this should make us all step back and realize that life is way too short. The world will truly miss his presence (News story).

posted by chemwizBsquared to baseball at 07:38 PM - 80 comments

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posted by geekyguy at 07:41 PM on March 06

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posted by lilnemo at 07:41 PM on March 06

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posted by NoMich at 07:43 PM on March 06

Only the good die young. RIP, Kirby.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 07:43 PM on March 06

R.I.P.

posted by wingnut4life at 07:53 PM on March 06

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posted by uglatto at 07:54 PM on March 06

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posted by Joey Michaels at 08:04 PM on March 06

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posted by kosmicdebris at 08:07 PM on March 06

as a blue jay fan.....in the glory years of the late 80's and early nineties....i hated when the jays played the twins.......minnesota always seemed to "kill" toronto....but i never could cheer against kirby.....he just looked like he was having SO MUCH fun out there. always a smile and showed such desire. rest in peace PUCK!

posted by tommytrump at 08:08 PM on March 06

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posted by cl at 08:23 PM on March 06

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posted by jerseygirl at 08:26 PM on March 06

Puckett was a true baseball player.. He simply loved to play and he did so whole-heartedly. Long live The Pucks memory. Regards to the Puckett family for there loss. He was way too young.....gods speed.

posted by solrac at 08:34 PM on March 06

I give my deepest sympathy to the Puckett family in thier time of grieving

posted by rbasketball9154 at 08:50 PM on March 06

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posted by Steeler_Fan at 09:04 PM on March 06

How terribly, terribly sad... At least the media vultures waited until very late in the article to drop on KP. The HOF got a good one, only to lose him, all too soon. Long may you run, my brother......

posted by wolfdad at 09:07 PM on March 06

you made the game fun to youngsters everywhere. And you where a great person

posted by byrdman822 at 09:22 PM on March 06

batgirl has a nice eulogy. .

posted by goddam at 09:28 PM on March 06

My condolences to the Puckett family and the Minnesota Twins. Such a tragic loss. Sometimes life is just so incomprehendable: his game was ended prematurely by glaucoma and now this.... He played the game with such joy and passion, and he lived his life the same way. Even though we are upset by your loss, Puckett, we can be assured that you truly lived. Thanks for the memories, and may you be an inspiration to all....

posted by bdf1010 at 09:43 PM on March 06

If it wasn't for Kibry Puckett, the Twins would not have won two W.S. He might have been a small man in size, but he swung a big bat. I will miss him.

posted by steelers101 at 09:49 PM on March 06

Damn. Yeah, this is truly sad. (And batgirl's eulogy is very good. Thanks for that, goddam.)

posted by chicobangs at 10:08 PM on March 06

This is a sad moment for the baseball community. Kirby was a great ball player, may he rest in peace. He will be missed by Twins fans the world over.

posted by millertime at 10:11 PM on March 06

One of the truly good guys that ever played the sport. My interest in pro baseball has waned over the years, but if the league were full of Kirby Pucketts, I would be a born again fan. RIP, Kirby. My condolences to his family.

posted by PAPhinFan at 10:20 PM on March 06

RIP Kirby. You will be missed.

posted by dbt302 at 10:27 PM on March 06

Condolences to the Puckett Family, the Twins family, and baseball fans everywhere. And announcing on the final batting order, playing center field, number 34, Kiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrbeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Puckett. Godspeed, Kirb.

posted by elovrich at 10:29 PM on March 06

One of the great ones that died too young.

posted by braker at 10:51 PM on March 06

hated him in '87 when i was 10 years old and he helped beat my cardinals. 5 years later i named a cat after him. godspeed.

posted by sirvomitousIV at 11:11 PM on March 06

I am stunned by this news, and equally stunned by the strength of my own reaction. I will remember two things about Kirby: first, that he was one of those rare, special players who tore down the walls of sports rivalry. You loved him even while he was beating you. Second, when he entered a room, ballplayers -- from young rookies to superstars to Hall of Famers -- immediately gravitated to him. Kirby's charisma was 100% all-natural -- this was no media-trained image. He was genuinely beloved, and he will be missed. Here is a short video that was made the year of Kirby's Hall of Fame election.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:13 PM on March 06

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posted by Ufez Jones at 11:42 PM on March 06

Kirby will definatly be missed, brings back alot of baseball memories playing little league.....hopefully he's playing "pepper" with a few greats of days gone bye......Godbless

posted by Grrrlacher at 12:42 AM on March 07

The batgirl eulogy was very good. I wish things could have ended better for Kirby and the whole thing is very sad.

posted by chris2sy at 01:16 AM on March 07

Wow, how quickly it can happen. I always liked watching him hustle and how you could just tell that he loved and savored every moment.

posted by fenriq at 01:27 AM on March 07

Thanks batgirl, like a couple of the posts said you captured what I was thinking and what I was feeling. I have mourned the passing of several other hall of famers as a sports fan because of what I had seen on highlight films, but I grew up watching Kirby. Tis one hits home. Rest In Peace & Vaya con Dios.

posted by chucodimebag at 02:55 AM on March 07

I updated the link to Batgirl's eulogy of Puckett. Her photo of Puckett pumping his fist is one of the great iconic moments in baseball the last 20 years. Pure joy. It followed his eleventh inning home run to force a Game 7 in the 1991 World Series. I wasn't a Twins fan when they won in 1987 and 1991, but it was hard not to become one, the way they played the game.

posted by rcade at 06:43 AM on March 07

what a shame...i saw KIRBY about six months ago at a baseball card show/signing here in NJ..i didnt like the way he looked, i couldnt believe it was him..much overweight and looked tired. it was a pleasure watching him play..and proved to me he was a hall-of-famer even in those short 12 years....you will be missed PUCK!

posted by no band waggon at 07:46 AM on March 07

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posted by ajaffe at 07:56 AM on March 07

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posted by hump9n at 08:15 AM on March 07

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posted by scottypup at 08:26 AM on March 07

had the opportunity to play golf with Kirby in 2001, told him at that time that I used to hate it when the Twins would play my " Blue Jays"....they alway beat them and usually good old number 34 was the reason.....RIP Kirby...

posted by fieldman at 08:44 AM on March 07

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posted by rocketman at 08:46 AM on March 07

He was a great man whom I greatly admired because of his attltude towards life, long live his legend.

posted by wsmcduffie@sbcglobal.net at 09:06 AM on March 07

I'll always remember that catch against the wall and subsequent game winning hit in the 1991 world series... the funny thing is, that I couldnt' even be mad because he had done it (unlike with Kent Hrbek). The game has lost a great ambassador.

posted by trox at 09:25 AM on March 07

I was shocked to hear the news. He was a class act and his passing saddens me. My best to his family.

posted by ChiSox1977 at 09:29 AM on March 07

Kirby connected with people so well because of his electric smile, his infectious personality and his "Is this really a pro athlete?" stature. Guys like Dave Winfield, who went into the HoF with him, were larger-than-life figures that you looked up to, but you could only wish you were built like him. An average guy could look at Kirby and think, "If he can do it, then so can I." And he went above and beyond the call of duty off the field representing what an athlete should be, signing autographs and interacting with people as though you were his best friend. I'm a lifelong Minnesotan, and I was crushed when I read Frank DeFord's columnn a few years ago. But as I listen to the stories people are telling about him today, from local people, national figures, and former teammates, I'm convinced Frank DeFord got the wrong guy. Goodbye, Kirby.

posted by TheQatarian at 09:30 AM on March 07

I loved him as a kid; I was born in Minnesota where he was the heart and soul of the team. Then, I got to experience first-hand his heart-breaking ability while I was rooting for my hometown Braves in the (I think) 91' World Series with that image of him stealing a home run imbedded in my head. He's still always been one of my favorite players.

posted by jmd82 at 09:39 AM on March 07

Kirby Puckett while a terriffic baseball player was a wife beater. He was a lothsome individual off the field and abused his wife and children. That should not be swept under the rug.

posted by Vito Spucalundania at 09:42 AM on March 07

Come on Vito...have a little class....the man just died. RIP Kirby you will be missed.

posted by jmbraun773 at 09:52 AM on March 07

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posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:12 AM on March 07

Watching this man was always like watching a super hero. Being a Cubs fan, I never really spend too much time watching a team from a couple states northwest of me. But when Kirby was on, it was simply a treat. We have our great emassador to this great sport here in Ryne Sandburg. Over in the Twin Cities, there is/was no greater man to look up to than MR. PUCKETT. From every piece of my heart I can only say, THANK YOU SIR for making my younger years of being a baseball fan some of my favorite times in life. I can only hope that the next batch of pros can look at your legacy as well as other greats of the past and see what being GREAT is truly all about. Keep that wonderful smile up there to shine down on us here and REST IN PEACE. {By the way Vito, this is a baseball obituary here, not a personal one. Whether guilty or not of wife beating, it was him and the sport We are thinking of here. I have no love for any spousal abusers. My wife had this with her first husband so I know how this crap works! In this case, if you have nothing nice to say about someone, then say nothing and move on to the next story}

posted by melcarek69 at 10:20 AM on March 07

I have already posted my condolonces as was not going to add anything else, but after reading Vito's post, I had to. Vito, unless you have any evedence to the contrary, Kirby was cleared of those charges. And yes, the man just passed. Regardless of whathe may have been accused of doing after his career was tragically shortened, he was a consumate sportsman, competitor, and embassador for the game, not only while playing but afterwards as well.

posted by elovrich at 10:22 AM on March 07

Kirby, to me, best represented what makes baseball such an attractive game. The NFL and NBA always seemed to be poulated by the genetic anomolies of the world, but baseball was the other guys - the guys like you and I. They were the ordinary men doing extraordinary things. I never liked Kirby Puckett. Minnesota was one of the great teams in the best era of my team, and we couldn't beat them (them and the A's of the late 80s, early 90s). But he was a helluva ballplayer and a Minnesotan institution. So I respected the hell out of him. Much too early for anyone, let alone a guy who gave all baseball fans a lot of joy for all too short a time.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:22 AM on March 07

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posted by Ultim8 at 11:06 AM on March 07

I have been a fan of Kirby Puckett since his rookie year. My entire family bases the quality of any sports moment on how it compares with "the solo home run in game six." If you don't get it, you're not one of us. When he was forced to retire, I attended his final ceremonies so pregnant with my daughter that I couldn't even fit into the stadium seat. In addition, I had a severe eye infection that made it virtually impossible to see. My eyesight was permanently damaged at about the same time as Kirby's. Nevertheless, NOTHING was going to keep me from being at that ceremony. I spent the entire evening with tears streaming down my face, clapping until my fingers were numb. When my daughter was born several weeks later, the first outift I bought for her was a Twins jersey with number 34 on the back. She is now ten years old. Last night, before we heard the news, I was reminiscing with her about how she was there, invitro, when Kirby retired. What this man did for the game of baseball and the state of Minnesota is indefinable. Even kids who were not even born when he played are sad today. Those of us who saw him play are devastated. He was a living icon, a real person, like in the old days of baseball. A man who loved what he did and led everyone around him to believe that it never had to end. The final home run, my friend. Rest in peace.

posted by hockeygirl at 11:08 AM on March 07

I wish more players today carried themselves with the same level of class that Kirby showed throughout his career. RIP

posted by potpatient at 11:39 AM on March 07

How big was Puckett getting? Here's a photo from just one year ago. From Deadspin

posted by dusted at 12:04 PM on March 07

I was always a Puckett fan from afar, the most amazing memory I have of him is the leaping catch up against the plexiglass. That was sick...he was practically throwing the ball back in before his feet hit the ground. That pic from Dusted is really telling though, wonder how his weight might have affected his health. RIP to one of the great ones.

posted by vito90 at 12:08 PM on March 07

Didn't he have diabetes or something? I think thats why he lost his vision and started getting so puffy.

posted by potpatient at 12:12 PM on March 07

Didn't he have diabetes or something? I think thats why he lost his vision and started getting so puffy. He lost vision in one eye due to glaucoma. As well, he suffered a nasty bean ball incident to the same eye. I'm not sure if the beanball incident was the cause of the glaucoma.

posted by grum@work at 12:28 PM on March 07

He lost vision in one eye due to glaucoma. ahh, he should've asked Ricky Williams for some "medicine".

posted by potpatient at 12:33 PM on March 07

Condolences to the Puckett family. R.I.P. Kirby!

posted by wsellis at 01:24 PM on March 07

grum, I had always thought Kirby's career was ended by that ball he took to the face, but his Wikipedia entry treats it as separate from the glaucoma, which set in the following spring. It's hard to believe the beanball, glaucoma, and untimely stroke are all unrelated though, isn't it?

posted by cl at 01:48 PM on March 07

It's hard to believe the beanball, glaucoma, and untimely stroke are all unrelated though, isn't it? I was thinking that also. Isn't glaucoma related to pressure on the optic nerve? If you've got pressure building up in your cranium (behind the eyeballs), doesn't it stand to reason that it could lead to things like stroke? I don't know enough about medicine to say for sure...is there a doctor in the house?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:52 PM on March 07

Well glaucoma is a disease so doubtful it was related to the bean ball. I understand he had gained quite a lot fo weight so that along with the bean ball may have contributed to his stroke. I was in high school when Kirby broke in the bigs. He made me have hope that a short chubby kid who had a little speed and a quick bat could actually play pro ball. Of course that's only if you are Kirby. He was just a step above in all respects.

posted by scottypup at 01:52 PM on March 07

Touch 'em all Kirby Puckett. Touch 'em all.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:57 PM on March 07

his life was great, but unfortunately, things happen. I feel for the Twins and his family. God bless him

posted by hardhits1012 at 02:01 PM on March 07

I'm truly amazed at all the feel good comments about Kirby, yet no mention of the accusations - Wife caught him in an affair with a mistress he had for 18 years (including other affairs as well) - put a cocked gun to her head as she held their then-2-year-old daughter - tried to strangle her with an electrical cord - locked her in the basement - threatened his mistress - accused of sexual assualt in a bathroom I mean there are 64 posts of what a good man this guy is, with all of these other accusations over his head. Yet Barry Bonds has his picture on the front of CNN as I type this with 5 linked articles and a full BOOK written by journalists about his steroid use. Ahh the media bias, and the sheeple that follow it.

posted by bdaddy at 02:06 PM on March 07

is there a doctor in the house? posted by The_Black_Hand at 1:52 PM CST on March 7 . posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:12 AM CST on March 7

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:14 PM on March 07

The allegations were discussed here when he was originally stricken.

posted by rcade at 02:25 PM on March 07

bdaddy, you dont know what he meant to MN sports fan - he was truly a beloved hero. When the accusations came out, I was very disappointed, and I don't know how much truth there is to them, but he will always be beloved to me for what he did on the field. RIP Kirby.

posted by criedel at 02:40 PM on March 07

and I don't know how much truth there is to them There are police reports to back up some of the accusations, so there is little chance that all of them are simply the revengeful blubberings of a wife/mistress/random-woman.

posted by grum@work at 03:09 PM on March 07

The man has passed and this is (supposedly) a thread of condolence to his fans and possibly aquaintances to pause and remember the positives that Kirby brought into the sporting world. Judge not lest ye be judged. Or whatever you're going to do anyway. 2 cents

posted by THX-1138 at 04:00 PM on March 07

"There are police reports to back up some of the accusations, so there is little chance that all of them are simply the revengeful blubberings of a wife/mistress/random-woman." True. "I'm truly amazed at all the feel good comments about Kirby, yet no mention of the accusations... mean there are 64 posts of what a good man this guy is, with all of these other accusations over his head. Yet Barry Bonds has his picture on the front of CNN as I type this with 5 linked articles and a full BOOK written by journalists about his steroid use." This is probably because of 2 things:

  1. Bonds's transgressions effected the game. Puckett's did not. That may not matter to you or me, but a lot of sports fans consider themselves "purists", and for whatever reason, they don't care about what happens off the field so much as what happens on it.
  2. Bonds is a polarizing figure, personality wise. Puckett was not.
I'm sure whenever Bonds passes away you'll see similar comments in terms of "He was one of the greats" vs. "He was a rotten stinky liar". YMMV.

posted by lilnemo at 04:01 PM on March 07

I'm truly amazed at all the feel good comments about Kirby, yet no mention of the accusations. I'm truly amazed that making a nice comment about somebody who just died could possibly be interpreted as excusing all of that person's transgressions. Whatever you feel about Kirby's well-documented failings, it's not out of line to let them go in this particular forum. Nobody's ignoring them, we're just choosing to focus on the positives in the wake of his death. There are police reports to back up some of the accusations, so there is little chance that all of them are simply the revengeful blubberings of a wife/mistress/random-woman. A police report is filed any time the police are called to a scene. Their existence indicates only that a call was made, and do not imply any degree of guilt in and of themselves. It is conceivable that a revengeful person could make such a call to cast a shadow on another -- I'm not saying this was the case in this instance, but Kirby was never convicted of anything that I'm aware of.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:14 PM on March 07

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posted by km2262 at 04:40 PM on March 07

I have no doubt some of the accusations against puckett are true, simply because he was human. We love to build our athletes up to gods and then tear them down. I'm sure puckett was a guy with good and bad attributes, but he was gold on the field, and the sporting side is the only side we really have access to. Although I must say this: The world will truly miss his presence is so over the top to almost be comical.

posted by justgary at 04:55 PM on March 07

Hyperbolic notions of loss as an expression of grief are not new, uncommon or novel. Openly mocking them, though, takes a certain kind of character. What the hell kind of website is this? The same people that seem to embrace the notion of crying at a sports movie have nothing more than shrugs, eye rolls, and scorn for expressions of rememberance, and in some cases real grief, at the DEATH of a beloved Hall of Fame ballplayer? And I'm not just looking at you, justgary.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:28 PM on March 07

It is conceivable that a revengeful person could make such a call to cast a shadow on another -- I'm not saying this was the case in this instance, but Kirby was never convicted of anything that I'm aware of. True. If I'm going to take issue with some wild accusations made in other threads, I've got to be held to the same standard in this one.

posted by grum@work at 05:54 PM on March 07

What the hell kind of website is this? The same people that seem to embrace the notion of crying at a sports movie have nothing more than shrugs, eye rolls, and scorn for expressions of rememberance, and in some cases real grief, at the DEATH of a beloved Hall of Fame ballplayer? He was a human being. Any number of people fitting that description dropped dead yesterday. If you try to get suitably worked up about each of them, you'll go nuts. Youve said that you knew Puckett in some regard. I'm sorry for your loss and his family's loss, but what are you expecting from people who didn't know him? He was a celebrity. His death is fodder for discussion for a few days. That's about it. It ain't necessarily right, but it is so. I'm not sure what you would have us do. It's the Internet, not a church.

posted by yerfatma at 06:22 PM on March 07

What the hell kind of website is this? One in which people are free to grieve for Puckett, remember Puckett's career, mention encounters with Puckett, talk about allegations against Puckett, and make comments on all of the above. I'm with the grievers, mostly, even though the SI story makes me wonder whether his good-guy image was manufactured. Puckett was one of the greats -- pure joy on the field.

posted by rcade at 06:28 PM on March 07

And I'm not just looking at you, justgary. I have no problem with the critical eye. Even though I love sports (obviously) I try to keep it in perspective. Many, many people will miss puckett. I love hearing from those people. To say the WORLD will miss puckett is almost meaningless. Sure, you hear that regarding a lot of deaths, and I feel the same about most. Friends will miss pucket, family, baseball, fans... And I feel the same way about pucketts shortcomings, whatever they may be. Mourn the man, the whole man. Does it mean more to pay respect to puckett both good and bad or some myth? I'll take the former. I'll take real over hyperbole. It's just my opinion. It's a huge loss for many, and I probably shouldn't have used the word comical. For that I apologize.

posted by justgary at 06:36 PM on March 07

the SI story makes me wonder whether his good-guy image was manufactured I don't think so: Dave Winfield was on WEEI in Boston this afternoon and he could not hide the grin in his voice when he thought back to his years playing with Puckett. I listened for 5 or 10 minutes and you would have been hard pressed to know he was talking about someone who passed away, such was the delight in his voice just to have known Puckett at all.

posted by yerfatma at 07:56 PM on March 07

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