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Article: Looking Back: Twins Draft Kirby Puckett

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...t-Kirby-Puckett

#2 lee_the_twins_fan

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

It was March 6, 2006 when Kirby died. I'll never forget it – it was on my fiftieth birthday.
He was a great player and a great human being – despite what came out after he retired. Who will ever forget Kirby's walk-off home run in game six of the World Series?

He was a franchise player and great addition to the Twins.

Edited by lee_the_twins_fan, 12 January 2013 - 12:53 PM.
misspelling, additions


#3 fairweather

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

When he reached 2000 hits he was the fastest ever to reach that milestone. Not sure if that has been eclipsed by someone since then but in my book of players I've watched in my lifetime Kirby is still top 5. There's not too many guys that could deliver championships to MN as we all painfully understand. Obviously he didn't do it alone but they couldn't have done it without him. RIP Kirby.

#4 Twins Twerp

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:54 PM

Reading this article just makes me want to go punch Reggie Jackson in the face. How could he think that Kirby wasn't a hall of famer? Mr. October is a complete ****ing idiot. Kirby was a better player than Reggie ever could have been. Kirby never took plays off. He was unselfish as a baseball player (homelife not so much) as Reggie was a selfish, homerun or strikeout kind of douch we need to rid ourselves of in the baseball world.

#5 mlhouse

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 04:33 PM

Weird coincidence. I was in the same spot on the highway when I heard that Kirby was retiring and that he had died..........

And, to be fair to the Twins circa 1984, the player they wanted to be their centerfielder, Jim Eisenreich was injured (essentially). Jim just could not stay in the lineup but he could have been a tremendous lead off hitter.

#6 Valediction

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

Reading this article just makes me want to go punch Reggie Jackson in the face. How could he think that Kirby wasn't a hall of famer? Mr. October is a complete ****ing idiot. Kirby was a better player than Reggie ever could have been. Kirby never took plays off. He was unselfish as a baseball player (homelife not so much) as Reggie was a selfish, homerun or strikeout kind of douch we need to rid ourselves of in the baseball world.



He could think that because he looked at the numbers. Look at the numbers straight up and tell me how they are Hall worthy?

His closest comparable players are:
Don Mattingly, on year 13 and not close to getting elected,
Cecil Cooper, who never got one vote,
Magglio Ordonez He doesn't seem like a HOF'er to me
Carl Furillo, never came close
Kiki Cuyler-made the Hall as a Vet Committee selection
Cesar Cedeno, Tony Oliva, Minnie Minoso, Cy Williams and Felipe Alou: none of them in the Hall

if you compare by age, most of his career is comparable to Mike Greenwell and Al Oliver,

He got in because of sympathy for the way his career ended, not by traditional stats and measures. Would he have gotten in if he had finished his career normally? We'll never know. It's impossible to know if he would have kept producing at a level high enough to get to 3,000 or if he would have declined like many others. He was 35 years old in 1995, there could have been a few decent years left that cemented his legacy, or skills can diminish rapidly and he may have still been on the ballot like Mattingly and Murphy.

#7 Westgaard66

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

I honestly don't remember and of the "bad stuff" that came out in '02.....


What I do remember is his enthusiasm, passion and love for the game....along with his heroics of '87 & '91.

If I ever bought a Twins jersey, it would have 34 on the back....

#8 Knotholemike

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:34 PM

[quote name='douch[/QUOTE']

I believe there is an "e" on the end of "douch." Let's make sure Reggie gets all the respect he deserves.

#9 darin617

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

So who were the players that were picked ahead of Kirby in the draft?
I tried to find out and have been unsuccessful so far.
I need the knowledge of Seth to answer this for me.

#10 Brad Swanson

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:58 PM

So who were the players that were picked ahead of Kirby in the draft?I tried to find out and have been unsuccessful so far.I need the knowledge of Seth to answer this for me.

Kash Beauchamp and Troy Afenir. Only 3 other guys from that 1st round played in the MLB and they combined for 120 games played. Shows what a long shot Puckett really was. Reference

#11 Brad Swanson

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 11:07 PM

Just for fun, here is a list of players drafted from the same college as Puckett. Triton College

Only 4 made the Bigs and 3 played for the Twins.

#12 Neil

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

This was a very nice read, Seth, Thank you.

I wish I could have met him too.

#13 TopGunn#22

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:35 PM

Val...just a couple rebuttal points: Oliver and Greenwell never won a Gold Glove. Oliver and Greenwell couldn't steal bases. Oliver won a World Series, but in 1971 the Pirates were Clemente & Stargell. (Oliver hit .282). Puckett was the BEST player on 2 World Champion teams. Furillo, while a very good player, wasn't Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, or Gil Hodges and they only won one (1) World Series (1955). I would like to see Tony-O in, but he never won a World Series. Sympathy may have made Puckett a first ballot HOF'er but it didn't make him a HOF'er.

#14 mlhouse

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:06 PM

The January draft was a very limited draft. Most of the "talent" was selected in the June-Regular phase of the draft. The Twins selected Bryan Oelkers 4th overall in the June-Regular, one spot ahead of the Mets who selected someone named Dwight Gooden.

#15 ashburyjohn

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

Back when I lived in Minnesota I usually got to only 2 or 3 games a season, at most. By the strangest chance, I happened to attend Kirby's final game. And I was guest of someone with really good seats, probably the best seats I ever sat in at a major league game, a few rows up from the third-base dugout. I will never forget the grin Knoblauch flashed his own bench after leading off the game with a HBP. A story came out later that he had a side bet with one of his teammates that he could lean into a pitch and get the free base. Dennis Martinez didn't bother to brush back the second batter, Matt Lawton. But then against Puckett, a pitch got away from him; that was the story, stuck to by both teams, by all parties. I will always hold a different opinion, that some seriously-inside baseball was going on there, with unintended but disastrous results.

#16 luke829

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:18 PM

Very sad (and scary) how a promising career such as his was derailed due to a case of glaucoma.
Mastermind of the "Free Bert" sign.

#17 ThePuck

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:32 PM

He could think that because he looked at the numbers. Look at the numbers straight up and tell me how they are Hall worthy?

His closest comparable players are:
Don Mattingly, on year 13 and not close to getting elected,
Cecil Cooper, who never got one vote,
Magglio Ordonez He doesn't seem like a HOF'er to me
Carl Furillo, never came close
Kiki Cuyler-made the Hall as a Vet Committee selection
Cesar Cedeno, Tony Oliva, Minnie Minoso, Cy Williams and Felipe Alou: none of them in the Hall

if you compare by age, most of his career is comparable to Mike Greenwell and Al Oliver,

He got in because of sympathy for the way his career ended, not by traditional stats and measures. Would he have gotten in if he had finished his career normally? We'll never know. It's impossible to know if he would have kept producing at a level high enough to get to 3,000 or if he would have declined like many others. He was 35 years old in 1995, there could have been a few decent years left that cemented his legacy, or skills can diminish rapidly and he may have still been on the ballot like Mattingly and Murphy.


How many of those guys were CFs? How many batted .318 lifetime? How many of them had a batting title, 6 GG, 6 SS, 10 straight AS games? How many had all of that?

So he hits .318 lifetime, had a 124 OPS+, was the fastest to 2K hits, and played gold glove CF. Dude was a HOFer

Edited by ThePuck, 14 January 2013 - 05:35 PM.


#18 Beau

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

I did meet Puckett at an autograph decision and shook his hand. I was thirteen years old. It was shortly after realignment. I joked with him, asking if he was glad the Indians were now in his division. He laughed and said the Indians had some good young players and they'd be hard to beat.