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Reds4Life
03-05-2006, 02:47 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11683878/


FORT MYERS, Fla. - Hall of Fame outfielder Kirby Puckett has suffered a stroke and is undergoing surgery, the Minnesota Twins announced Sunday.

The Twins said Puckett, a longtime star center fielder for the team, suffered the stroke Sunday morning at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was transported to Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, then airlifted to Scottsdale Osborne Hospital, where he is undergoing neo surgery.

Perhaps the most popular player in franchise history, Puckett played his entire career with the Twins (1984-95) and led them to two World Series titles.

Despite having his career cut short by irreversible retina damage to his right eye, Puckett was inducted to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2001.

Fun-loving as a player, the 5-6, 190-pound Puckett was a lifetime .318 hitter with 207 home runs and 1,085 RBI. He retired as the Twins’ all-time leader in hits (2,304), doubles (414), total bases (3,453), at-bats (7,244) and runs (1,071).

Puckett was selected to 10 consecutive All-Star Games from 1986-95 and won six Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger Awards.

Puckett announced his retirement in July 1996 due to the eye injury and had his number 34 formally retired by the team in May 1997.

Also one of baseball’s great community leaders, Puckett won the Roberto Clemente Man of the Year award in 1996

© 2006 SportsTicker

Hopefully he comes through ok. :(

TeamBoone
03-05-2006, 04:11 PM
Oh man. That's horrible.

Caseyfan21
03-06-2006, 09:15 PM
Just saw on ESPN, Kirby Puckett has passed away at age 44.

Terrible tragedy, I always enjoyed watching the replays on Classic of his performance in the 1991 World Series.

He will be missed by many, thoughts and prayers for his family.

:(

redsfan30
03-06-2006, 09:17 PM
Just learned of his passing......horrible news.

Don't remember ever seeing him play in person but have seen pleanty of tapes and highlights.

My thoughts are with his family in this horrible time.

UKFlounder
03-06-2006, 09:21 PM
What terrible news. His career cut short by the illness, but that was of so little importance compared to this.

RIP, Kirby Puckett

RedLegSuperStar
03-06-2006, 09:23 PM
RIP Puck.. You were a true idol and you played the game right. My thoughts go out to his family and friends

OnBaseMachine
03-06-2006, 09:32 PM
Very sad news. Truly a great player and person.

RIP Kirby.

captainmorgan07
03-06-2006, 09:39 PM
kirby's catch in the metrodome against the hockey glass will be forever in my mind when i think of him

cReds1
03-06-2006, 09:48 PM
kirby's catch in the metrodome against the hockey glass will be forever in my mind when i think of him

That is the play I remember of him too. Weird how we remember him of that play. I guess it was one that was so amazing. Very Sad News! RIP Kirby!!!

Redsland
03-06-2006, 09:51 PM
:( A very sad day for baseball.

reds1869
03-06-2006, 10:03 PM
Truly shocking to hear this. I will always remember his play in the postseason as something special.

kxblue
03-06-2006, 10:07 PM
RIP Kurby, just saw this on ESPN, very sad

daytonredsfan
03-06-2006, 10:08 PM
its a sad day in the world of baseball RIP Kirby

remdog
03-06-2006, 10:55 PM
Sorry that anyone dies but I don't agree that Kirby should be in the HOF. He was a very good, but not great, player, IMO. Additionally, his character is in question.

Rem

JinAZ
03-06-2006, 11:25 PM
Really terrible news. What a wonderful guy. -jinaz

alex trevino
03-06-2006, 11:38 PM
RIP Kirby

redssouth
03-06-2006, 11:42 PM
Rem, I tried to PM you this, but your box is full, so I will say it here.

What you are trying to do to Kirby Puckett is pretty tasteless. If you have issues with him, bring them up at his hall of fame induction, not his time of departure. Many people remember him being a great ballplayer, and you should let them remember him like such at this time.

Not sure what your problem is, or what kind of person you are, but you come off really shallow with the comments you are making at a very insensitive time. The great thing about these message boards, is that posting is not mandatory, it is optional. Try using that feature. There will be a proper time to debate his hall of fame status, and whether or not he was a good guy. Now is not the time. You should really let the man have a few hours after his passing before trying to continue besmudging his game and charachter.

RedsFan8978
03-07-2006, 12:24 AM
RIP Kirby. Great player, great enthusiasm, great for the game of baseball. More players should have his attitude on the field.

kheidg-
03-07-2006, 01:03 AM
Sorry that anyone dies but I don't agree that Kirby should be in the HOF. He was a very good, but not great, player, IMO. Additionally, his character is in question.

Rem

I check one thread in the main forum and see you diss him. I check here and the same thing. What have you got against the guy? He is dead and you bring this up now? How do you not say he should be in the HOF? His career was cut short from being blind in one eye at the age 34 - with a lifetime average of .318 and less than 700 hits shy of 3000. He had two world series rings and was a gold glover numerous times. Look at his stats then tell me he should be in the HOF.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/P/kirby-puckett.shtml

savafan
03-07-2006, 02:01 AM
Great player who I will remember playing in arguably the greatest World Series ever.

RIP Kirby Puckett. :(

macro
03-07-2006, 02:07 AM
Sorry that anyone dies but I don't agree that Kirby should be in the HOF. He was a very good, but not great, player, IMO. Additionally, his character is in question.

Rem

Follow the news, find out where he will be buried, and perhaps you can spit on his grave.

Number_Fourteen
03-07-2006, 02:49 AM
Sorry that anyone dies but I don't agree that Kirby should be in the HOF. He was a very good, but not great, player, IMO. Additionally, his character is in question.

Rem

Like him or not -- and I absolutely loved Kirby Puckett the player -- I find your comments distasteful and classless. Could you not wait for Puck to assume room temperature at least before discussing his negative side? In addition, what's the point? Remember, we're all baseball fans here, and most have heard plenty regarding the guy's dark side. Oddly, you almost seem to get a twisted satisfaction in pointing it out – in both forums nonetheless! Grow up and become a decent person for cryin' out loud!

Rest In Peace, Kirby

Gainesville Red
03-07-2006, 02:52 AM
Follow the news, find out where he will be buried, and perhaps you can spit on his grave.

Yikes!

Didn't expect that from a mod.

Revering4Blue
03-07-2006, 06:27 AM
Listening to sports talk radio the past two hours, I can tell you that I am simply astounded--and perhaps I shouldn't be-- by the amount of positive Kirby Puckett stories/testimonials by common fans--Kirby Puckett showing up unannounced at numerous little league games and visiting sick children/adults in hospitals, whether or not they were a fan of the Twins. On top of that, he always seemed to be interested in the lives of the fans he visited, wanting to know about their family and everything that Joe/Jane fan held near and dear to his or her heart.

As trite as it sounds, Kirby Puckett did play the game as it was intended to be played, assuming the torch from Pete Rose, epitomizing the player who left it all on the field while excelling in all phases of the game.

Thanks for the memories and all of your contributions to this game we all love.

RIP, Kirby.

Revering4Blue
03-07-2006, 06:38 AM
http://http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060306&content_id=1337939&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

Baseball reacts to Puckett's passing
Players, executives alike recall Hall of Famer's legacy
By Jim Molony / MLB.com



Kirby Puckett's passing sent shock waves across Spring Training camps from Arizona to Florida on Monday as baseball mourned the untimely death of the Hall of Famer.

Puckett, 45, passed away Monday afternoon due to complications from a stroke.

"This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere," Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad said. "Eloise and I loved Kirby deeply. Kirby's impact on the Twins organization, State of Minnesota and Upper Midwest is significant and goes well beyond his role in helping the Twins win two world championships. A tremendous teammate, Kirby will always be remembered for his neverending hustle, infectious personality, trademark smile and commitment to the community. There will never be another 'Puck'."

Puckett stood only 5-feet, 8-inches tall, but he was a giant of his era. He was remembered by those who knew him as a lovable 212-pound bowling ball of a center fielder who hit .318 during a 12-year career.

Despite his stocky stature, he was an outstanding fielder, winning six Gold Gloves for fielding excellence. He was a 10-time All-Star and led the American League in hits four times, including 1989 when he led the league with a .339 batting average.

For all his baseball excellence, Puckett was equally remembered Monday as a caring individual and a friend to those whose lives he touched.

"When I think about Kirby, I think about the way he lived his life and the way he played the game," Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan said. "He enjoyed the game and he enjoyed people."

Ryan said Puckett loved kids.

"My boys thought he was special, because he would always go out of his way to talk to the kids and play with them and that makes him extremely special to them because a lot of players wouldn't do that," Ryan said.

Baseball's all-time strikeout king said Puckett was one of his toughest outs.

"He was a very aggressive-type player," Ryan said. "He always took the extra base. You knew to get him out you had to be on your best."

Cincinnati Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky knew Puckett well from the time the two spent together in the Twins organization.

"I had some interaction with him then because we shared an office," Krivsky said. "We had some fun and some laughs together. He'd answer my phone 'Wayne Krivsky's office.' He'd call me 'Kriv.'

"My wife got to talk with him several times and she couldn't believe she was talking to Kirby Puckett. They had a lot of laughs on the phone together. It's really sad to hear what's happened. I have some nice memories of those one or two springs when we were up there sharing that same office. We had a lot of laughs. He'd join us for lunch in Fort Myers[, Fla.]. Whenever it was Kirby's day to buy, it was a big day for lunch. He'd cater in these great meals -- three-course meals. You didn't need to eat dinner on days Kirby was buying. It was really neat and a lot of fun."

Puckett hit .357 in the 1987 World Series, and was a key player as the Twins won the World Series again in 1991. In 24 postsesason games, Puckett hit .309 with five homers and 15 RBIs.

"Everybody remembers the World Series wins," Krivsky said. "He always had a smile on his face. He was fun to be around. This has really got to hit the whole organization hard. There are not too many people he didn't touch over there. Everybody knew Kirby. It's got to be hitting his ex-teammates pretty hard. I'm sure the whole organization is going to be reeling from this for a while."

Puckett was on the minds of many of his former teammates and former Twins Monday.

Prior to Monday's game between the Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs, A's third base coach Ron Washington and Cubs outfielder Jacque Jones huddled together to talk about Puckett. Washington had spent all day Sunday at the Scottsdale hospital where Puckett was taken for surgery.

"He's a big part of the reason I play this game," said Jones, who came up in the Twins organization.

Cubs team president Andy MacPhail was the Twins GM from 1986-94.

"He was the best teammate I've ever been around," MacPhail said. "He made ballplayers better either by teasing them or getting on them. Nobody could dog it around him because he's running 4.2 [seconds] to first base in exhibition games that were going to get rained out in 20 minutes. As a player, he was a unique guy.

"When you win championships, you realize there are many, many indispensable people," MacPhail said. "We wouldn't have won without [Jack] Morris in '91, we wouldn't have won without [Greg] Gagne in '87 and '91, you wouldn't have won without [manager Tom] Kelly. There are a lot of those people. Nobody was more indispensable than Kirby. As a player, he was unique. There's never been anybody around him who had an impact on a baseball team the way he did."

Puckett was as exciting in the field as he was at bat. He had an electric personality and even casual fans love to see the Twins' sparkplug play the game.

"He wouldn't have been a big 'Moneyball' favorite because he used to say that the only guy who gets paid for walking is the mailman," MacPhail said. "That was him. Players respond more I think to their peers than anything else. With Kirby around, you always felt better after you've been around him. You could not be around him for long before he would have you smiling and laughing."

New York Mets coach Wally Backman was a teammate of Puckett's in 1989 and is a good friend of Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.

"He was the ultimate professional to me," Backman said. "Always working to get better. I used to say Tony Oliva had one job -- throw early [batting practice] to Kirby. He took it every day. It didn't seem good when they said he had surgery. But you didn't think he was going to die."

Mets outfielder Cliff Floyd was another who was saddened by the news.

"That's wrong, that's so wrong," Floyd said. "He always had that positive vibe going. Always had a smile. That's just horrible. We're in the clubhouse today and we see that 'critical condition, critical condition' on the bottom of the screen. 'Is it ever going to go back to stable?' Now he's gone. ... It's a shame, man. It's awful."

San Diego outfielder Mike Cameron was a friend of Puckett's.

"We were in the clubhouse today, talking about center fielders and Kirby's name came up," Cameron said. "He's one of those special dudes. I knew he had the stroke, and I was asking if you could go the hospital to see him. They said he was in intensive care, that it was just for family. ... Now he's gone. That's crazy. I didn't even know. The last time I saw him was when the Mets played in Minnesota. I went to dinner with him -- me, Kirby, Jacque Jones and Torii [Hunter]. I'm sure Torii's tore up. It's so sad."

Cameron remembered Puckett befriending him when he first came up to the Major Leagues, and Cameron wasn't even Puckett's teammate.

"He was one of those dudes, good people," Cameron said. "He always called me 'Young Stud.' I wasn't playing much when I came up with the White Sox. I'd just watch him. When I was with the White Sox, every time we'd go to Minnesota -- and we went a lot -- he'd take me and Frank Thomas to dinner. He had his own table in a restaurant. That city loved him, We all loved Kirby."

Chris Coste of the Phillies has been a Puckett fan since he can remember.

"Kirby was the first name on everyone's list," said Coste. "That smile and that magnetic personality. He was a huge role model for so many people in that area. He was a huge influence in the way that I hit."

Coste immediately broke into a Puckett batting stance -- pumping his left leg -- and said he stole that for his own style.

"People ask me how I hit that way, and I say, 'I grew up watching Kirby Puckett," said Coste, 33. "He was the kind of guy who had that Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire factor, where he would go to other stadiums and people from those cities would watch him play."

Coste's manager with the Phillies, Charlie Manuel, was another who was upset by the news.

"That kind of crushed me," Manuel said. "I didn't realize it was that bad. He was my favorite player. He was everything I thought a player should be."

Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, also issued a statement.

"This is a sad and tragic day for the Baseball Hall of Fame," Clark said. "He was an incredibly productive player from the moment he joined the Twins until his last at-bat 12 years later. When you remember Kirby, you think of the joy and optimism he brought to the ballpark every day, and into the lives of everyone who knew him. He was, in every sense of the term, a Hall of Famer. We will miss Kirby greatly."

Donald M. Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, echoed those sentiments.

"We are very saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of Kirby Puckett," Fehr said in a statement. "Kirby played the game with such passion and enthusiasm that he was beloved by players and fans throughout all of baseball. An icon in Minnesota, Kirby's contributions to the game and all who love it will stand as a lasting tribute to his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Puckett family, his friends and the entire Twins baseball family."

macro
03-07-2006, 09:01 AM
Yikes!

Didn't expect that from a mod.

It was a reaction to more Puckett-related posts than just that one, but It was sarcastic and blunt nevertheless, and I shouldn't have said it. I'm sorry, rem. :redface:

cumberlandreds
03-07-2006, 09:38 AM
Very sad news for baseball. Puckett was a great player as well as a great ambassador for the game. You could tell by his actions on and off the field that he truly loved the game. IMO he is a hall of famer and baseball has lost much in his death.:(

Hap
03-07-2006, 11:08 AM
As is the case with our beloved Pete Rose, or Jerry Rice, or Steve Garvey, or Randy Moss, or Ray Lewis, or Allen Iverson, or or Terrell Owens, etc., etc.....

His character had nothing to do with his play on the field.

Maldonado
03-07-2006, 01:45 PM
As is the case with our beloved Pete Rose, or Jerry Rice, or Steve Garvey, or Randy Moss, or Ray Lewis, or Allen Iverson, or or Terrell Owens, etc., etc.....

His character had nothing to do with his play on the field.

I agree with you completely. Also it's my impression that his character issues are not a foregone conclusion. He was acquited of the groping charges, or whatever they were, back in '02 or '03.

TeamBoone
03-07-2006, 09:13 PM
March 7, 2006

Junior visited Kirby for 4 hours Sunday
KEVIN KELLY AND ENQUIRER NEWS SERVICES

Reds star Ken Griffey Jr., who is in Arizona playing for the United States team in the World Baseball Classic, visited Kirby Puckett for more than four hours Sunday night.

Griffey didn't leave until almost 2 a.m. Monday.

"He's one of those guys, you're just glad you had a chance to know him," said Griffey, who was taken under the wing of the more-established Puckett as a 1989 rookie for Seattle. "He took care of me."

Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky got to know Puckett during his time as Twins assistant general manager, and the two sometimes shared an office at spring training.

"He'd come up and use my office and do all his autographing," Krivsky said. "So we got to know each other pretty well just hanging out in my office."

Puckett enjoyed answering Krivsky's phone and not identifying himself.

"He'd answer it saying, 'Wayne Krivksy's office,' and nobody knew they were talking to him," Krivsky said. "I know he answered the phone a few times and it was my wife. He said, 'Hey, mama Kriv is on the phone. Mama Kriv wants to talk to you.' So my wife got to talk to him a few times.

"He was just a fun guy to be around . . . it's just a shame."



http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060307/SPT04/603070394/1071

Caseyfan21
03-08-2006, 01:54 AM
Following up on the Griffey story, ESPN has a video on their site with Griffey discussing Puckett's final hours. It's very interesting and a little hear wrenching to hear Jr. discuss what he did to visit and about Puck's children. Definately worth the 3.5 mins or so that it runs. Also, it's free to watch, not insider.

JinAZ
03-08-2006, 02:37 AM
Following up on the Griffey story, ESPN has a video on their site with Griffey discussing Puckett's final hours. It's very interesting and a little hear wrenching to hear Jr. discuss what he did to visit and about Puck's children. Definately worth the 3.5 mins or so that it runs. Also, it's free to watch, not insider.

Thanks for the heads up -- here's a link to help folks find it:
http://search.espn.go.com/keyword/search?searchString=kirby%20puckett&page=multimedia&multimediaCount=15

Not a direct link, but right now it's top result from that search.
-JinAZ

TeamBoone
03-08-2006, 11:47 AM
That was nice. Thank you for the link.

JinAZ
03-08-2006, 02:28 PM
That was nice. Thank you for the link.

Junior is just such a wonderful guy. Easily my favorite ballplayer of all time. Outstanding performer, but even better person. Very kind, very funny. From what I'm hearing, Puckett had many of the same qualities. -JinAZ

savafan
03-09-2006, 02:02 PM
http://davewinfieldhof.com/KIRBY.html