Posted at 7:42 AM on March 7, 2006
by David Zingler
Less than 15 years after he ended Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, Kirby Puckett is dead. Carl Pohlad and Herb Carneal are still with us and Kirby is not. It doesn't make sense.
As a high school junior I attended the before-mentioned Game 6. Sitting in the first row behind the plexi-glass in left-centerfield, I can still see that small white ball sailing into immortality. Back then, at age 16, I thought of Kirby the same way -- immortal, untouchable. I was not the only one. We all know the events that changed that perception. They are true and they are sad, but they are not the way we should remember Kirby.
Here in Minnesota, we've been blessed with several spectacular athletes who have flirted with greatness, but only Kirby has delivered when it mattered most. After losing Game 5 in Atlanta 14-5, the Twins returned home trailing 3 games to 2 and had every reason to roll over. Kirby wouldn't have it. What he did in Game 6 is the greatest performance in our state's history (sorry Jack Morris, there is no 10 inning, Game 7 shutout without Kirby).
In this information age of intense media scrutiny, the true hero is dead. Let's not blame Kirby for that. It's up to Puckett's family to assess his transgressions; Game 6 is his legacy to us. Farewell Kirby, you're the best we've ever had.
Posted at 10:31 AM on March 7, 2006
by Ben Tesch
If you would like, you can share your Kirby Puckett memories here. There is a growing collection of thoughts and remembrances. There is also a collection of stories which is sure to grow in the coming days and weeks.