Monday, March 06, 2006

Kirby Puckett

One of my earliest memories is of playing baseball in my neighbor's yard, hearing him introduce himself as "Kirbeeeeeeeeeeee Puckett" in a squeaky preschool voice. I watched the 1987 World Series in another friend's living room with a slew of neighbors, cheering, moaning, and generally staying up way past my bedtime. I have games six and seven of the 1991 Series on tape, and nearly wore out the end of game six, that fabulous catch and the infamous "we'll see you.... TOMORROW NIGHT!" The next night he came through again.

I thought my heart was broken when he had to end his career early due to glaucoma. Today he's dead at forty-five, and I'm beyond shock. He did so much for people in Minnesota, and always seemed to have a grin on his face, even after signing autographs for umpteen screaming kids (and their parents, and neighbors, and likely every Minnesotan ever).

I can't even say any more. I just want my childhood back.


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