Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Finding What I Lost
I was living in Manhattan when Kirby Puckett died on March 6, 2006. And I remember the first time I ran into a Minnesotan after that. It was obvious--to both of us.
"Oh Kirby! People don't understand..."
I was born and raised in Minneapolis in 1985. The Twins winning the World Series in '87 and '91--and more importantly, Kirby Puckett--comprise many of the first and favorite memories. Kirby Puckett was beloved as he is by Minnesotans long before 1991. That's part of what made his performance so special.
I can specifically remember running to my Dad's dressing room the morning after game 6. I remember my Dad telling me, excitedly, while he tied his tie and such, what Kirby Puckett had done. He told me if the Twins won the World Series that night, he would buy us hats. And he did.
Seven years ago I sat down at my computer in my little shared studio in soho Manhattan. It was a Sunday. I saw a CNN.com news headline for "Baseball HOFer Suffers Massive Stroke". I was curious. I clicked. I felt like I got socked in the stomach.
I wore my baby-blue Kirby Puckett jersey (the most expensive piece of clothing I owned at the time) to school and work Monday. Kirby was taken off life support Monday night. So of course I never took the jersey off.
Kirby's passing was a front page headline by Tuesday. Took a whole subway sized NY Post cover. I remember walking into work that morning, after seeing the NY Post newspapers on the subway, and my loud-mouth supervisor asking, "Hey! Did you just buy that jersey because he died?"
This was 8:30 am in the morning. In the middle of Manhattan. In 2006. And I was wearing a Hall of Fame replica Minnesota Twins Kirby Puckett jersey--that had been wearing for two days.
I kind of stood there and stared at her for a moment. Then I replied.
"No. Kirby Puckett was my hero."
Rest in Peace
Please add your own thoughts and memories of KIRBBBBBBBBBBBBBYY PUCKETT!!