Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Kirby Puckett

"I wanted to play baseball ever since I was 5 years old, and I want you to remember the guiding principles of my life: You can be what you want to be if you believe in yourself and you work hard, because anything, and I'm telling you anything, is possible."

Kirby Puckett has passed away today at the age of 45. I'd be lying if I said he was one of my favorite players of all time. Maybe I still hold it against him for leading the Twins to the World Series in 1987, beating my beloved Detroit Tigers in the ALCS in the process. But I had the upmost respect for him. He played the game the right way and worked as hard as anyone else. And he was an integral part of my childhood. If I had to list the 10 baseball players that made the biggest impression on me as a kid, I gurantee Kirby is in that list. He was just such a dynamic personality. In fact, he was one of my favorite players to emulate when I played imaginary games in my backyard.
The greatest tribute I can give to Kirby is that I'm certain I will always remember him. When I have kids, he's one of the players I will tell my kids about seeing. And while Kirby is in the Hall of Fame already, that hall is filled with a bunch of people based on numbers. But Kirby is in as much for the memories he created as his numbers. Those memories are what I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Kirby Puckett links:
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