Hall of Fame outfielder and Twins lifer Kirby Puckett passed away last night at age 44, from complications following surgery after a stroke.
I'm not going to comment on Puckett's personal life, it is what it is, he's a human being, and we all have faults. But Puckett was a hell of a baseball player, a rarity in the modern era spending his career with one team, and a guy who probably would have reached 3,000 hits had he not been forced to retire at 34, because he was about as good as he'd ever been at that point.
Puckett finished his career with a .318/.360/477 line, 2304 hits, 1071 runs scored, 207 homers and 1085 RBI. His 162 game averages were 38 doubles, five triples, 19 homers, 99 RBI, 209 hits, 97 runs scored.
He was also a damn good outfielder, a six-time Gold Glover, a six-time Silver Slugger, a ten-time All-Star, and the 1991 ALCS MVP. I assume Twins fans will always remember Puckett fondly, as will most baseball fans.
Personally, I always had a special connection with Kirby Puckett because we were both born on March 14. Us, Kevin Brown and Grandmama. I mean, it means nothing, but when you're a little kid, sharing a birthday with a famous person is something, and I've always liked Puckett in part because of that.
Update: Apparently Kirby Puckett was actually born in 1960, not 1961, so every baseball card you have of Kirby Puckett is wrong.