Batting with his right hand and throwing with hid right, Kirby Puckett quickly rose to fame in the MBL as a member of the Minnesota Twins. From his career’s beginnings in the 1980s to his tragic death in 2006, Puckett will always be remembered as a great of baseball history. Despite controversy, Puckett will always be remembered by fans as a legend of the diamond.
Puckett made a name for himself with as a batter with an impressive .328 batting average. His success on the plate led him to finishing the season seventh in doubles, sixth in home runs, fourth in extra base hits, third in slugging percentage, and second in runs scored, hits, total bases, and at bats in 1986.
Puckett’s career came to a screeching halt as he was hit with a fastball that led to a broken jaw. Dennis Martinez of the Cleveland Indians would throw the pitch that led to this injury. Upon further investigation of the injury, Puckett was diagnosed with glaucoma. This led to the end of his major league career.
Puckett would attempt to make a return to professional baseball as he impressed the Grapefruit League with a batting average of .344! On March 28th Puckett awoke blind in his right eye. Although he underwent many surgeries over the following months, doctors were never able to restore vision in his eye. Knowing he’d never play again, Puckett announced retirement in the summer of 1996. Puckett was 36 years old.
After retirement, Puckett faced controversy when a woman claimed his wife had threatened to kill her due to an alleged affair with her husband. Although Puckett was found not guilty, he faced tabloids again when a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in a public restroom.
On March 5th of 2006, Puckett suffered a stroke. After undergoing a failed surgery to relieve brain pressure, Puckett passed away on March 6th. He passed just eight days before his 46th birthday. His fiance never left his side during the tragic events. Despite the controversial lawsuits, Puckett is still widely recognized as a legend of baseball and is an official member of the MLB hall of fame. There is a statue of the star in the plaza of Target Field. The legend will never fade from the memories of baseball fans. This man’s career and life were both cut too short. As a fan, I will never forget Puckett’s life on the baseball field. The Hall of Fame is well rounded and Kirby Puckett is one of many deserving legends.