Author Topic: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett  (Read 409 times)

Mo Z. Dizzle

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R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« on: March 06, 2006, 06:38:27 PM »
Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett dies
By DAVE CAMPBELL, AP Sports Writer
March 6, 2006

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kirby Puckett died Monday, a day after the Hall of Fame outfielder had a stroke at his Arizona home, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 44.


R.I.P. Kirby
very sad day for Twins fans
      
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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2006, 06:40:19 PM »
 :o R.I.P.
 

jeromechickenbone

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2006, 06:43:14 PM »
Only 44.  Its a damn shame.  Strokes are crazy as hell though - My uncle had one at the age of 50.  He survived for about 6 months, but he was a completely different person.  Couldn't do much of anything, personality was non existent.  He then died.  Too bad, but at least Kirby didn't suffer too long.  RIP Kirby
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2006, 07:06:17 PM »
WTF.....dammmn, I just saw them mention he had a stroke, but I didn't know it was life threatening. RIP

BizzyR.I.P.

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2006, 07:09:36 PM »
WTF.....dammmn, I just saw them mention he had a stroke, but I didn't know it was life threatening. RIP
Yeah a couple of hours ago they just said he was in critical condition but i didn't think he was gonna die.
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2006, 07:16:50 PM »
 :'(
A childhood Hero..
R.I.P. Kirby
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2006, 07:35:06 PM »
DAMN....RIP Kirby
"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

- Lewis Carroll
 

herpes

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2006, 07:36:55 PM »
rip sad day for baseball... but i heard he was in horrible shape even b4 the stroke... truly a sad daytho.
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2006, 07:41:46 PM »
sad 2 hear about this...rest in peace kirby, truely an incredible baseball player, on and off the field

I WENT TO STAPLES CENTER WEN I WAS WALKING MY GOLD RAG FALL OF MY POCKET AND THE GROUND WAS WET TO AND DIRTY MY RAG GOT DIRTY A LIL BIT PULL IT IT BACK AND MAKE SURE IT WOULD NOT DROP AGAIN ROCKING MY RAG AGAIN HOMIE 8
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2006, 07:42:01 PM »
I guess he didnt see it coming


















ahh my bad too soon....im an asshole god forgive me
"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. "Which road do I take?" she asked. "Where do you want to go?" was his response. "I don't know," Alice answered. "Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

- Lewis Carroll
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2006, 09:09:51 PM »
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kirby Puckett died Monday, a day after the Hall of Fame outfielder had a stroke at his Arizona home. He was 45.

Puckett died at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. He had been in intensive care since having surgery at another hospital following his stroke Sunday morning.

The bubbly, barrel-shaped Puckett carried the Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991 before his career was cut short by glaucoma. His family, friends and former teammates gathered at the hospital Monday.

Puckett was given last rites and died in the afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Kimberly Lodge said.

``On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am terribly saddened by the sudden passing of Kirby Puckett,'' commissioner Bud Selig said. ``He was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term.

``He played his entire career with the Twins and was an icon in Minnesota. But he was revered throughout the country and will be remembered wherever the game is played. Kirby was taken from us much too soon - and too quickly,'' he said.

Puckett broke into the majors in 1984 and had a career batting average of .318. Glaucoma left the six-time Gold Glove center fielder and 10-time All-Star with no choice but to retire after the 1995 season when he went blind in his right eye.

Out of the game, the 5-foot-8 Puckett put on a considerable amount of weight, which concerned those close to him.

``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.''

Asked what he would remember the most from their playing days, Hrbek quickly answered, ``Just his smile, his laughter and his love for the game.''

Puckett was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first try in 2001 and thrilled the crowd in Cooperstown when he said, ``I'm telling you, anything is possible'' during his induction speech.

His plaque praised his ``ever-present smile and infectious exuberance.''

``This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere,'' Twins owner Carl Pohlad said.

Puckett's signature performance came in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series against Atlanta. After telling anyone who would listen before the game that he would lead the Twins to victory that night at the Metrodome, he made a leaping catch against the fence and then hit a game-ending homer in the 11th inning to force a seventh game.

The next night, Minnesota's Jack Morris went all 10 innings to outlast John Smoltz and pitch the Twins to a 1-0 win for their second championship in five years.

``If we had to lose and if one person basically was the reason - you never want to lose - but you didn't mind it being Kirby Puckett. When he made the catch and when he hit the home run you could tell the whole thing had turned,'' Smoltz said Monday night.

``His name just seemed to be synonymous with being a superstar,'' the Braves' pitcher said. ``It's not supposed to happen like this.''

Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk echoed Smoltz's sentiment.

``There was no player I enjoyed playing against more than Kirby. He brought such joy to the game. He elevated the play of everyone around him,'' Fisk said in a statement to the Hall.

Puckett's birthdate was frequently listed as March 14, 1961, but recent research by the Hall of Fame indicated he was born a year earlier.

Perhaps the most popular athlete ever to play in Minnesota, Puckett was a guest coach at Twins spring training camp in 1996, but hadn't worked for the team since 2002. He kept a low profile since being cleared of assault charges in 2003, when he was accused of groping a woman at a suburban Twin Cities restaurant.

Puckett, who was divorced, is survived by two children. He was engaged to be married this summer.

 

Black_Smoke

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2006, 09:23:46 PM »
RIP



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T-Dub

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2006, 09:48:29 PM »
R.I.P. Kirby :(
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2006, 10:12:14 PM »
RIP i remember watching him play
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2006, 11:21:47 PM »
RIP  :'(
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2006, 12:16:08 AM »
As a player, Puckett made everyone happyBy Jim Caple
ESPN.com
Archive

Editor's Note: Jim Caple covered the Twins as a beat writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1989-93 and then as the national baseball writer from 1994-99.

I don't know where the funeral is going to be because there isn't a church big enough to hold everyone.

On or off the field, Kirby Puckett always had a smile on his face -- and made everyone else smile around him.I have never covered any athlete who was more universally liked and admired than Kirby Puckett. What Michael Jordan was to basketball and Chicago, Puck was to baseball and Minnesota. Indeed, the Twins used to wear T-shirts that read "I wanna be like Puck." (Do you think there are "I wanna be like Barry" T-shirts in San Francisco's clubhouse?) Puck's locker was the one every player surrounded at the All-Star Game. And why not? A clubhouse with Puck in it was always a happier place than one without him.

Puck was always among the first to arrive at the stadium, and when he wasn't in the cage taking batting practice (and he took hours of BP), you could find him chattering away in the clubhouse or in the dugout, busting on his teammates, making everyone smile, making everyone laugh, making everyone -- players, coaches, reporters -- feel better. Not many players make a real difference to a team beyond what they do on the field. Puck did, though. He personally took Shane Mack under his wing and transformed him from a nervous wreck into a confident, solid player simply with his upbeat personality. He was like that with everyone. His infectious, positive presence helped teammates play to their potential.

And the fans? Oh my, did he make them feel good. Puck was so popular the Twins used to separate their fan mail into two piles: One for Puck and one for everyone else. There would be 60 to 70 a day in the Puck pile, more than 11,000 over the course of a season (not counting spring training). If the writer included a stamped self-addressed envelope with the autograph request, Puck signed. Baseball cards not autographed by Puck are probably worth more than those signed by him.

I remember talking to Puck one day while he autographed 10 boxes of baseballs. I asked him whether he ever tired of it. "Look," he said while signing a ball. "See how little time it takes to autograph a ball? If it takes me 30 seconds to make someone happy, why not do it?"

A clubhouse kid handed him another ball while we talked. "Puck? Could you sign this?" the attendant asked. "It's for a friend of mine who has a little boy at the Mayo Clinic. He has leukemia."

Puck signed that baseball and then finished up the rest of the balls. And then someone handed him a bat and he signed that one, too. "To Ken Griffey Jr. -- all my best, Kirby Puckett."

A millionaire player, a child with leukemia, a reporter -- he treated everyone with the same respect and good humor.

Unfortunately, a man who was always so happy did not end his life that way. Puck's stature fell considerably in recent years when he was charged with sexual assault for allegedly groping a woman in a restaurant bathroom. He wound up on the cover of Sports Illustrated along with a story filled with ugly tales about extramarital affairs. He was cleared of all charges from the alleged assault, but the damage to his image was done.

I don't think he ever recovered from that fall from grace -- or from his replacement in popularity by a new generation of successful Twins. For nearly two decades, he had been the face of the Twins. The team had so many nights to honor him after his retirement that we joked they would retire his pants along with his jersey. And then almost overnight he found himself permanently on the bench. The glaucoma was one thing but that was too much, I think. Puck stopped working for the Twins and started drinking heavily. Never a thin man, he grew fatter and fatter. Someone who had always been so happy and spread so much joy became increasingly bitter. Friends openly worried about him.

That's not how I want to think about Puck, however. I prefer to remember the player who made so many of us so happy. The Twins used to show a highlight video of Puck with John Fogerty's "Centerfield" playing in the background. And that's how I'll always remember him -- reaching way over the fence to rob home runs, slamming hits into the gap, running around the bases and smiling, always smiling. Just happy to be alive and playing baseball.

"Well, beat the drum, and hold the phone -- the sun came out today!
We're born again, there's new grass on the field.
A-roundin' third and headed for home, it's a brown-eyed handsome man.
Anyone can understand the way I feel."

Jim Caple is a senior writer at ESPN.com. His first book, "The Devil Wears Pinstripes," was published by Plume. It can be ordered through his Web site, Jimcaple.com.
 

LAKERS_FAN89

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2006, 12:18:55 AM »
R.I.P.

1960~2006
 

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Re: R.I.P. Kirby Puckett
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2006, 12:58:09 AM »
R.I.P