Make your own free website on Tripod.com
They Played
the Game
KIRBY PUCKETT

Born: May 14, 1960 (Chicago, IL)
ML Debut: May 8, 1984
Final Game: September 28, 1995
Bats: Right     Throws: Right
5' 8"   210 lb.
Hall of Fame: 2001(Baseball Writers; 423 votes on 515 ballots; 82.14%
Played for Minnesota Twins (1984-1995)
All-Star 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Gold Gloves 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992; Silver Slugger 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994
1991 ALCS MVP
1993 ML-AS MVP
1993 Branch Rickey Award
His smile brightened up Minneapolis and his blazing bat lit up the American League for 12 enjoyable seasons. Charisma oozed out of Kirby Puckett's Smurfian 5-foot-8 body like water out of a sponge. He brought effervescence, personality and success to a downtrodden Twins franchise while charming his way through a productive career cut short by a serious eye problem in 1996.
It was easy to love the barrel-chested, thick-necked Puckett, who signed autographs with the same enthusiasm that he drove line drives into the gap and chased down fly balls hit into his center field domain. Fans and teammates were swept away by the quick smile; opposing pitchers were swept away by the quick righthanded swing that whipped through the ball from a crouching stance. No area of the ballpark escaped the wicked drives lashed out by one of baseball's classic bad-ball hitters.
Over his 12 big-league seasons, Puckett topped .300 eight times and reached the 200-hit plateau four years in a row. He could finesse you with his deceptive speed or club you with his surprising power. The 1989 A.L. batting champion also was three-time 100-RBI run-producer from his No. 3 spot in the Twins order and the catalyst for Minnesota World Series winners in 1987 and 1991.
Puckett was at his memorable best when scaling the Metrodome's center field fence to rob hitters of home runs, a feat he pulled off with amazing regularity. Twins fans will never forget Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, when Puckett leaped above the fence in the third inning to rob Atlanta's Ron Gant and then hit a game-winning, Series-saving home run in the 11th.
Puckett, at age 35, woke up one morning before the 1996 season with blurred vision in his right eye, a condition later diagnosed as glaucoma. He never played again. The 10-time All Star Game performer finished with a .318 average and 2,304 hits -- and status alongside Harmon Killebrew as the most popular players in Minnesota history.
Sporting News
Heroes of the Hall
Led the AL with a .339 batting average in 1989.
Led the AL in hits four times: 1987 (207), 1988, (234), 1989 (215), and 1992 (210).
Led the AL in RBI in 1994 (112).
On 28 September 1994, Puckett's jaw was broken by a fastball from Dennis Martinez (CLE).
The Twins nearly lost Puckett to the Boston Red Sox in 1993 because owner Carl Pohlad was opposed to signing free agents; Pohlad made a last-minute exception in Puckett's case.
Major League Batting Record
Year
Team
G
AB
H
R
2B
3B
HR
RBI
SB
BB
SO
BA
OBP
SLG
1984
MIN
128
557
165
63
12
5
0
31
14
16
69
.296
.320
.336
1985
MIN
161
691
199
80
29
13
4
74
21
41
87
.288
.330
.385
1986
MIN
161
680
223
119
37
6
31
96
20
34
99
.328
.366
.537
1987
MIN
157
624
207
96
32
5
28
99
12
32
91
.332
.367
.534
1988
MIN
158
657
234
109
42
5
24
121
6
23
83
.356
.375
.545
1989
MIN
159
635
215
75
45
4
9
85
11
41
59
.339
.379
.465
1990
MIN
146
551
164
82
40
3
12
80
5
57
73
.298
.365
.446
1991
MIN
152
611
195
92
29
6
15
89
11
31
78
.319
.352
.460
1992
MIN
160
639
210
104
38
4
19
110
17
44
97
.329
.374
.490
1993
MIN
156
622
184
89
39
3
22
89
8
47
93
.296
.349
.474
1994
MIN
108
439
139
79
32
3
20
112
6
28
47
.317
.362
.540
1995
MIN
137
538
169
83
39
0
23
99
3
56
89
.314
.379
.515
TOTALS
1783
7244
2304
1071
414
57
207
1085
134
450
965
.318
.360
.477
Postseason
1987 ALCS
5
24
5
3
1
0
1
3
1
0
5
.208
.208
.375
1987 WS
7
28
10
5
1
1
0
3
1
2
1
.357
.419
.464
1991 ALCS
5
21
9
4
1
0
2
5
0
1
4
.429
.435
.762
1991 WS
7
24
6
4
0
1
2
4
1
5
7
.250
.367
.583

Major League Fielding Record
Pos.
G
PO
A
E
DP
FP
OF
1696
4392
142
51
37
.989
DH
81
-
-
-
-
-
2B
4
0
1
0
0
1.000
3B
4
0
0
0
0
SS
3
0
0
0
0
1707
4392
143
51
37
.989