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realreds1
03-06-2006, 09:30 PM
Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett died Monday, a day after suffering a stroke at his Arizona home, a spokeswoman for St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., said.

The 44-year-old Puckett, who led the Twins to two World Series titles before his career was cut short by glaucoma, was stricken Sunday morning at his Arizona home.

"This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere," Twins owner Carl Pohland said. "Kirby's impact on the Twins organization, state of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest is significant and goes well beyond his role in helping the Twins win two world championships."

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.

TOBTTReds
03-06-2006, 09:31 PM
Story from ESPN:


Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett died Monday, a day after suffering a stroke at his Arizona home, a spokeswoman for St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., said.

The 44-year-old Puckett, who led the Twins to two World Series titles before his career was cut short by glaucoma, was stricken Sunday morning at his Arizona home.

"This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere," Twins owner Carl Pohland said. "Kirby's impact on the Twins organization, state of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest is significant and goes well beyond his role in helping the Twins win two world championships."

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.

RedFanAlways1966
03-06-2006, 09:35 PM
Very sad. Words are hard to come by at the moment. A great player. :(

Prayers to his family.

MrCinatit
03-06-2006, 09:38 PM
wow. this comes to a surprise. terrible news. he was always one of my favorites. great personality, great player. someone you do not see come along every day.

Spitball
03-06-2006, 09:39 PM
Sad...I know the guy might not have been the person that people believed him to be, but in the 1980's, he was one of the most popular players in the game. My prayers are with him, his family, and his fans.

Reds1
03-06-2006, 09:47 PM
Sad...I know the guy might not have been the person that people believed him to be, but in the 1980's, he was one of the most popular players in the game. My prayers are with him, his family, and his fans.
What did you mean by that 1st part.

Man, he was soooo young.

Sea Ray
03-06-2006, 09:49 PM
Sad...I know the guy might not have been the person that people believed him to be, but in the 1980's, he was one of the most popular players in the game. My prayers are with him, his family, and his fans.

Ditto. What a tragedy. 44 years old. Makes arguing about baseball seem awfully trivial...

Redsland
03-06-2006, 09:50 PM
:( A very sad day for baseball.

RANDY IN INDY
03-06-2006, 09:52 PM
Very sad, indeed. Prayers to his family.

Reds Nd2
03-06-2006, 09:59 PM
.

Reds4Life
03-06-2006, 10:01 PM
Oh man, this is horrible. :(

KronoRed
03-06-2006, 10:22 PM
Too young :(

medford
03-06-2006, 10:23 PM
What did you mean by that 1st part.

Man, he was soooo young.

I believe he is reffering the piece that came out in SI about 3 years ago, that the image that Kirby portrayed off the field during his playing days, was not exactly the real Kirby.

But this is not a time to reharsh the bad in a man, perhaps another day, rest in Peace Kirby, rest in peace.

Cyclone792
03-06-2006, 10:28 PM
RIP Kirby, you were a heckuva ballplayer.

Caseyfan21
03-06-2006, 10:46 PM
I found this very interesting...

Jr. visited Puckett's hospital room both late last night and earlier this afternoon, I had no idea they were that close of friends.

Here's the story from Marc's blog:


RIP, Kirby Puckett

SARASOTA -- There was a lot of talk buzzing through baseball circles this afternoon that Kirby Puckett's stroke was far more serious than most of Sunday's reports seemed to indicate. Tonight comes news that Pucket has died at age 44.

Reds GM Wayne Krivsky spent a good portion of his day calling Twins contacts, trying to stay apprised of the situation. I'll post some thoughts from him later.

Ken Griffey Jr. visited Puckett's hospital room in Phoenix late last night and was back at the hospital this afternoon. He, too, spent the day trying to track down updates on his friend.

It just seems like the bad news has been flowing over the last week. I hope this is the end of it. My best wishes go out to Puckett's family and friends.

remdog
03-06-2006, 10:48 PM
I believe he is reffering the piece that came out in SI about 3 years ago, that the image that Kirby portrayed off the field during his playing days, was not exactly the real Kirby.

But this is not a time to reharsh the bad in a man, perhaps another day, rest in Peace Kirby, rest in peace.

You mean this piece? I don't see any reason that it should be ignored just because the guy died. If you're willing to look at it at a later time why not look at it now?


The other Kirby

Puckett has history of abuse, say former wife, mistress
Posted: Tuesday March 11, 2003 3:25 PM


From Sports Illustrated

Chuck Solomon
The Rise and Fall of Kirby Puckett
By Frank Deford
Issue Date: March 17, 2003
[Puckett] woke up one bright spring morning in 1996 and thought he'd slept funny on one eye, only it was glaucoma, and so never again could the Puck stand in against horsehides flung 90 to 95 mph. Just like that, no warning, he had to hang it up. Then he wasn't a ballplayer anymore, let alone a whale of one. Then he was just back to being fat little Kirby Puckett. Of course, this meant being able to spend more time with his mistress of many years, who nobody seems to have known existed, because Kirby was, of course, an ideal family man -- even though, truth be told, he wasn't even an ideal scoundrel, because he also had cheated on his mistress of many years with a passel of other sad and lonely women. And you thought the fans were duped. She was so shocked at his perfidy, the mistress of many years, that she began to seek comfort in commiseration with the wife.
Anyway, the mistress of many years says that when Puckett couldn't play baseball anymore, "he started to become full of himself and very abusive." He began to perform lewd acts in public, such as going to a fancy shopping center, parking there, then opening his car door and stepping out and peeing in plain view of other people (Twins fans presumably included). ...

Laura Nygren, the other woman, says that Puckett often spoke resentfully about having to visit children in order to bulwark his image. "He always said how much he hated going to the hospitals," Nygren says. "He became more [vocal] about how much he hated it after he retired, but he always said he hated it."

Excepted from "The Rise and Fall of Kirby Puckett," by Frank Deford in the March 17, 2003 issue of Sports Illustrated.



ATLANTA (SI.com) -- Baseball fans across the country were shocked last year when Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, one of the game’s most beloved figures, was charged with sexually assaulting a woman at a suburban Minneapolis restaurant.

But that incident was merely the latest in a pattern of alleged sexual indiscretions and violent acts by the former Minnesota Twins icon, according to the cover story by Frank Deford, with special reporting by George Dohrmann, in this week’s Sports Illustrated.

Puckett has pleaded innocent in the restaurant incident, and is scheduled to go on trial March 24 for false imprisonment and criminal sexual assault.

Laura Nygren, whom SI describes as Puckett's "mistress of many years," told the magazine that Puckett resumed an affair with her just seven weeks after he was married in 1986 -- then cheated on Nygren with numerous other women.

After the onset of glaucoma in his right eye forced him to retire in 1996, Puckett began committing lewd acts in public, such as urinating in mall parking lots, Nygren told SI. Her relationship with the ex-ballplayer ended last March after he allegedly threatened her and she obtained a temporary order of protection.

Shortly before Puckett was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2001, a female employee of the Twins threatened to file a sexual harassment suit against the team because of Puckett’s and other men’s behavior. The Twins allegedly made a financial settlement with her, according to SI. The Twins declined to comment to the magazine about this allegation.

Puckett’s ex-wife, Tonya, divorced him in December, barely a year after she told police that he threatened to kill her during a telephone conversation. Over the years, she told SI, Puckett had also tried to strangle her with an electrical cord, locked her in the basement and used a power saw to cut through a door after she had locked herself in a room. Once, she said, he even put a cocked gun to her head while she was holding their young daughter.

Puckett’s upcoming trial stems from charges that he pulled a woman into the men’s room of a restaurant in Eden Prairie, Minn., on Sept. 5, 2002, and fondled her. The woman told police that Puckett released her only when her girlfriend opened the door to the men’s room and screamed.

Puckett, who retired with a .318 career average, 207 home runs, 1,085 RBIs and 134 stolen bases in 12 seasons, helped Minnesota win the World Series in 1987 and 1991. But the 5-foot-8, 230-pound center fielder was revered in the Twin Cities -- and throughout baseball -- as much for his “good guy” nature as for his play.

He and his ex-wife were involved in numerous community projects and during his career he won the Branch Rickey and the Roberto Clemente Man of the Year awards for community service. He’s also a member of the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

But that image also was a sham, according to Nygren. One day after he had retired, she told SI, they were together when Puckett said he had to leave to visit a sick child who was waiting to meet him.

“That’s great, you get to make that kid’s day,” Nygren told him. “That must make you feel good.” But she said Puckett just snapped back at her.

“I don’t give a s---,” he said. “It’s just another kid who’s sick.”

Puckett declined to be interviewed for the SI story.

Rem

Heath
03-06-2006, 11:10 PM
Wow - let the man rest in peace.

Way too young....

remdog
03-06-2006, 11:16 PM
As opposed to 'way too old'?

Morn the man if you like but don't ignore that he was just a man with all of the attendant flaws.

Rem

Heath
03-06-2006, 11:19 PM
well rem - i'm not perfect myself, so I am not qualified to cast stones at someone else's faults.

IMO, one's faults isn't fair game to pick on someone when they are deceased. I think its disrespectful personally. Everyone makes mistakes in life. Deal with it.

And yes, 44 is too young to die. Average Life Span charts state that.

GriffeyFan
03-06-2006, 11:22 PM
Not that it really matters, but now everyone is reporting Puckett at 45...

Whatever happened after baseball, he was still one of the game's greats.

redsandrails
03-07-2006, 12:09 AM
His 45th birthday would have been next Tuesday.

Anyways, this is really sad. Poor guy was apparently 300 lbs and maybe 5'6" (some say 5'6" and others say 5'8"). Regardless, at that height and weight his health was a serious concern.

Gallen5862
03-07-2006, 12:11 AM
RIP Kirby Puckett. My prayers go out for his family and friends.

M2
03-07-2006, 12:23 AM
Baseball's rarely been more fun to watch than it was when Kirby Puckett was on the field.

pedro
03-07-2006, 12:27 AM
Baseball's rarely been more fun to watch than it was when Kirby Puckett was on the field.

I agree.

redsfan4445
03-07-2006, 12:43 AM
So sad... i just saw the news and it mad me feel sad.. i loved watching Kirby in the 90's as much as Jr. and to know Jr went their to see him and it shows how much a heart Jr has... i was down when Puckett lost his site in his right eye.. and then this happens.
RIP Kirby Puckett

Many prays for his family and friends

kheidg-
03-07-2006, 12:51 AM
Yea rem, I don't think that was deserved in this thread.

Rest in peace to a guy that did a lot for Minnesota and the people of Minnesota. I remember Kirby coming to my high school in the early 1990's when I was a senior and giving an amazing and inspirational speach. What he has done for baseball will never be seen outside of the midwest, but believe me he has had an incredible impact.

cincinnati chili
03-07-2006, 01:18 AM
Unbelievable. Someday, if I'm lucky, I'll try describing Kirby Puckett to my grandkids. It'll be tough. He defies all logical explanation. He was an anachronism. Seems like he'd have been a better fit to play in the 30's or something.

Gainesville Red
03-07-2006, 01:47 AM
C'mon Rem. We all know his character was in question. He wasn't Mother Theresa, but he wasn't Hitler either. Let him die graciously. The man could flat out play. It's a shame he couldn't finish his career under better circumstances. I don't know what the acceptable time elapsed is, but when that time has passed we can talk about all the other stuff, but for now I think all there is to say is R.I.P., and wish his family and freinds our condolences.

macro
03-07-2006, 02:02 AM
When you easily remember the season when a guy was a rookie, and then that guy passes away, it makes you feel old. It was way too soon. :(

savafan
03-07-2006, 04:49 AM
I hesitate to even bring this up, but if I thought of it, then I'm sure I'm not the only one. My point is not to besmirch Kirby Puckett, the man or the ballplayer, but to learn from what has transpired in this tragic event. Puckett played in what has now become known as the steroid era. We've seen former MVP Ken Caminiti, a confessed steroid user, pass away at an early age. We've now lost Kirby Puckett. I'm not accusing Kirby of using steroids, but it is definately a possibility. Every player who played during that era can be brought in to question, and we'll never know one way or the other. What we do know is that Kirby's body started breaking down in his mid-30's. We know, thanks to the SI article that rem referred to, that Puckett had issues with anger and rage. We saw a young player come up in the major leagues and hit 4 homeruns in 1248 at bats, and all of a sudden become a power hitter in his 3rd major league season. It could happen. He may have trained very hard and worked diligently in the batting cage to improve his fine hitting and build his power. But what if he didn't? What if there was more going on than we know about, or ever will know. Kirby Puckett's death at such a young age is tragic. Perhaps, this is a lesson to learn from steroid use. Maybe it isn't. Maybe Lyle Alzado and Ken Caminiti will be the only high profile names we will ever have to hear with their deaths linked to steroid use. No one is going to come out and accuse Kirby Puckett of using steroids at this time, and I'm not accusing him of that now, but what if more athletes start passing away at young ages from that same era? Perhaps, more than suspensions and bad reputations, players will see the horrid effects of the drugs and be more concerned with their health than fat contracts and records. I don't know.

Attack me if you want. Tell me I shouldn't have brought this issue up now, that the timing is poor. It may be...in fact, I think it is. But, awareness is important. I'm not trying to take anything away from Kirby Puckett. Please understand this. He was one of my favorite players. However, looking back now, and we have no idea when steroids use started in baseball, but we can be sure that it has been around for a long time. We know, thanks to Lyle Alzado, that steroid use was occurring in the NFL during the late 1970s to early 1980s. Who's to say it wasn't going on in baseball too? Facts are, we just don't know.

All I can say for certain right now is that I'm very saddened by the passing of Kirby Puckett.

StillFunkyB
03-07-2006, 07:33 AM
First million dollar player.

Sad day, both his career, and his life were cut way short.

RIP Kirby.

cincinnati chili
03-07-2006, 07:36 AM
His 45th birthday would have been next Tuesday.



That's what I thought. However, Espn's home page is erroneously (I think) listing his birth year as 1960.

RedsBaron
03-07-2006, 07:38 AM
Puckett was a joy to watch because he brought his own joy to his play. The Happy Warrior. R.I.P.
I'm aware of the stories that Rem cited, but this just seems to me not to be the right time to bring his reported flaws up.
Sava raises a more interesting issue. I have no idea regarding the possibility that Puckett was on the juice, but his power surge in his third season could've happened without chemical enhancement and I am aware of no evidence otherwise. Unfortunately, as a result of the lack of testing of players during what may come to be called the "steroid era", just about every player, fair or not, may be subject to such suspicions.

Edskin
03-07-2006, 08:16 AM
My all-time favorite non-Red baseball player. I too, was a bit disappointed when the SI article came out a few years ago, but then again, we really don't know what happens behind closed doors. All I know is that Kirby and Jack Buck gave me one of my very first lasting memories in baseball. He will be missed.

Edskin
03-07-2006, 09:18 AM
I know we already have one Kirby Puckett thread going, but this is VERY important to me and I wanted to share it with everyone.

www.edkleese.blogspot.com

Johnny Footstool
03-07-2006, 10:28 AM
What we do know is that Kirby's body started breaking down in his mid-30's.

He got hit in the eye with a fastball and developed glaucoma. That doesn't qualify as "his body started breaking down." The guy put up an .894 OPS in his last full season at age 35.

I think we're a little too quick to start chasing the steroids bugaboo.

Sea Ray
03-07-2006, 10:32 AM
His 45th birthday would have been next Tuesday.

Anyways, this is really sad. Poor guy was apparently 300 lbs and maybe 5'6" (some say 5'6" and others say 5'8"). Regardless, at that height and weight his health was a serious concern.

There is lesson to be learned for all of us and Redsandrails touched on it above. Seeing recent pictures of Kirby show that he absolutely ballooned after he retired. He was well over 300 lbs and was a stroke waiting to happen. Folks take care of yourself and don't encourage an early end like Mr Puckett did.

I don't know about steroids but I do know he was extremely obese and that can kill. I think it's safe to say that he had a hard time dealing with life after baseball and he never dealt with the loss of adulation he enjoyed as a player.

Johnny Footstool
03-07-2006, 10:54 AM
I think it's safe to say that he had a hard time dealing with life after baseball and he never dealt with the loss of adulation he enjoyed as a player

That probably had a lot to do with the manner in which his career ended. He still had a lot of good playing days ahead of him, but those were taken away by a freak accident. That must have gnawed at him.

KronoRed
03-07-2006, 02:24 PM
I know we already have one Kirby Puckett thread going, but this is VERY important to me and I wanted to share it with everyone.

www.edkleese.blogspot.com
Good stuff ED

Edskin
03-07-2006, 04:02 PM
Thanks Krono--it hit me hard today.

smith288
03-07-2006, 04:36 PM
Here is a picture I found of Puckett in 2005

He became quite large and unhealthy. RIP Puck

http://woolis.com/images/Fanfest2005/05fanfest001Puckett&Lantz.jpg