Kirby Puckett - Looking Back

 

On this day 19 years ago, Kirby Puckett was named MVP of the All-Star Game. Puckett led the American League to a victory in that 1993 edition, taking home its top honor in the process. Puckett was 2-3, hitting a 2nd Inning Home Run of Terry Mulholland before following it up with a 5th inning RBI double off of John Burkett. The MVP award Puckett lifted after the 9-3 victory would prove to be another achievement in this legendary career.

Puckett played his entire career in Minnesota and is arguably the greatest player in Twins history. A Chicagoan, Puckett did not earn a single college offer coming out of high school as he went to work on a Ford assembly line before getting a chance at Bradley University, where he became a star. A first round draft pick by the Twins, Puckett's major league debut would come on May 8, 1984 and he found immediate success, finishing 3rd in the 1984 Rookie of the Year voting. However, 1986 would prove Puckett a star, as he won his first All-Star Game appearance, Golden Glove, and Silver Slugger that year, repeting that trio of achievements for the next three seasons after.

However, Puckett's most iconic moments came on the highest stage. He batted .357 in the 1987 World Series as the Twins won their first ever championship, defeating the Cardinals in seven games. Puckett would continue to star through the end of the 80's and into the 90's. 1991 would see Puckett help lead the Twins back to the World Series against the Atlanta Braves, as Puckett turned in some decisive defending and hit an 11th inning walk-off home run in Game 6 to force game 7. The Twins won Game 7 1-0 on the back of a 10 inning performance from Jack Morris, as Puckett took home his 2nd World Series title.

Puckett would never return to the playoffs, but he did turn in four more strong seasons, and All-Star in each. Sadly, during 1996 Spring Training, Puckett woke up one morning without vision in his right eye. Puckett was diagnosed with glaucoma, and subsequent surgeries could not return his vision. Puckett was forced to announce his retirement on July 12 at the age of 36.  Puckett's #34 would be retired by the Twins the next year, and in 2001 Puckett was named a first ballot Hall of Famer.

The new millenium was not kind to Puckett, as controversy, weight, and illness followed. On March 5, 2006 Puckett suffered a massive stroke, and passed the next day at the age of 45. Puckett's untimely death was grieved by all of baseball. In 2010, as the Twins entered the new Target Field, a statue of Puckett was unveiled outside the ground.

Puckett remains a beloved son of Minnesota and one of the greatest outfielders of his era. Mitchell & Ness honors the late Kirby on the anniversary of his first and only All-Star Game MVP. Want to honor Puckett yourself? Check out our offering of authentic Puckett gear:

Minnesota Twins 1991 Home Jersey 

1991 Batting Practice Jersey

July 13, 2012 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Category: This Day in History | Tags: ,

Incoming!

Here are a few more coming soons from our MLB Authentic Jersey Spring '12 release. Check out Mitchellandness.com later this month for the rest of our new releases!

May 7, 2012 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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Walk Off Heroics

Last night the St. Louis Cardinals forced a game 7 in the 2011 World Series Championship against the Texas Rangers. This is the first time there has been a game 7 since 2002 when the Anaheim Angels beat the San Francisco Giants. The Cardinals were able to extend the series with a 2 RBI, game-tying triple in the bottom of the 9th and a walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th (both hits from third baseman David Freese). If game 7 is anything like game 6, this World Series could go down in history as one of the most exciting series ever. First pitch is 8:05 pm tonight on Fox. One thing that got lost in the shuffle of last night’s extra inning heroics was the play by play call made by Joe Buck. Mitchell & Ness loves the history of baseball and we couldn’t help but notice Buck’s choice of words for the walk off homer.

 

Back in 1991, Jack Buck, Joe Buck’s father, called the World Series matchup between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves. In the bottom of the 11th inning (noticing a trend?), Kirby Puckett smacked a walk-off homerun for the Twins to force a game 7.  Immediately after Puckett made contact, Jack Buck said “We’ll see you tomorrow night!” And as David Freese started his trot out of batter’s box, Joe Buck said, you guessed it, “We’ll see you tomorrow night!” Not to many people have the opportunity to pay homage to your father like that, and we thought it was pretty cool.

October 28, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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New MLB Jerseys!

Check out the latest additions to the Mitchell & Ness Cooperstown Collection!

March 11, 2011 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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