I don’t think we could call ourselves a Twins blog and let today pass without at least briefly noting that it was four years ago today that we lost Kirby Puckett.
There have been a lot of things written about Kirby since he passed away and not all of it positive. I don’t know what he was like away from the ballpark. I don’t know whether he did or didn’t use PEDs (though I’ve yet to see anything resembling a convincing argument that he did).
What I do know is that from the mid 1970s up until the arrival of Puckett, it was not easy being a Twins fan. Puckett (with some help from his friends) made it fun to watch the Twins again. Part of the reason was that, no matter how much fun the fans were having, it was clear Kirby was having even more fun playing the game. I’ve always thought it’s a shame more Major Leaguers don’t demonstrate the same joy out of simply being a part of the game that Puck did.
I’m sure we all have a number of favorite memories of Puckett, but I’d be willing to bet every “favorite memory” has one thing in common… I bet that in every favorite memory, Kirby (and almost everyone around him) wore a smile.