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
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