Puckett, Kirby

Portrait
Born: Mar 14, 1961 AD
Died: 2006 AD, at 44 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Baseball Player


1961 - Kirby Puckett son of William (a postal employee) and Catherine Puckett, was born on the 14th of March, in Chicago, Illinois.

 

1982 - Got drafted as a Baseball player with Minnesota Twins organization, by Twins in first round in January.

 

1983 - Played for the Visalia Oaks in the California League.

 

1984 - Joined parent team on the 8th of May, as outfielder.

 

1986 - 1989 - Received the Gold Glove Winner Award.

 

        - Married to Tonya Hudson.

 

1987 - Led the Twins to their first title in the World Series after batting .332 with 28 home runs and 99 RBI in the regular season. His performance was even more impressive in the seven-game Series upset over the St. Louis Cardinals, batting a whopping .357.

 

1988 - The Twins won even more games, though they finished second in their division to the powerful Oakland Athletics. Puckett had his statistically best season, hitting .356 with 24 home runs and 121 RBI, to finish third in the MVP balloting for a second straight season.

 

1989 - Won the AL batting title, with a mark of .339, making him the first right-handed batter to win the title in eight years.

 

        - Made his 1,000th hit, the first (and only) player in the 20th century to do so in his first five seasons. He continued to play well in 1990, but the Twins slipped to last place in their division on April.

 

1991 - 1992 - Received another Gold Glove Winner Award.

 

1993 - Finished among Top Ten in MVP voting seven times; voted All-Star Game MVP.

 

1995 - Sidelined in September, by a beanball from Dennis Martinez, which broke his jaw.

 

1996 - Returned to spring training in 28th of March, but woke up later that month unable to see out of his right eye; was diagnosed with glaucoma.

 

        - On the 12th of July, Puckett announced his retirement from baseball at age 35. His lifetime batting average of .318 was the highest of any right-handed batter since Joe DiMaggio retired in 1951.

 

1997 - His jersey number 34 was retired by the Twins.

 

2003 - On the 17th of March, edition of Sports Illustrated, columnist Frank Deford penned a piece entitled The Rise and Fall of Kirby Puckett, that documented Puckett's many indiscretions and contrasted his private image with the much-revered public image he maintained prior to his arrest.

 

2004 - Was #1 on Sports Illustrated survey of Minnesotans ranking of greatest athlete's in state's history.

 

2006 - On the morning of the 5th of March, Kirby Puckett suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He underwent emergency surgery that day to relieve pressure on his brain; the surgery failed, and his former teammates and coaches were notified the following morning. Many, including 1991 teammates Shane Mack and Kent Hrbek, flew to Phoenix to be at his bedside during his final hours along with Kirby's ex-wife Tonya Puckett and two kids Kirby Jr. and Catherine.

 

        - Died on the 6th of March in Phoenix of complications from the stroke at approximately 5:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (0030 UTC, 7th of March), shortly after being disconnected from life support, just 8 days away from his 46th birthday. The official cause of death was recorded as "cerebral hemorrhage due to hypertension." Puckett died at the second-youngest age (behind Lou Gehrig of any Hall of Famer inducted while living, and the youngest to die after being inducted in the modern era of the five-season waiting period.

 

        - At the time of his death he was engaged to marry Jodi Olson, with an expected wedding date of the 20th of June.

Page last updated: 1:50pm, 23rd Feb '07
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