Although I sort of turned on them in 1991, through the late 80s, I was a Twins fan. They were certainly my favorite American League team at the time. I can still remember writing for my Creative Writing class about why Kirby Puckett, Gary Gaetti and Kent Hrbek were among the most under appreciated talents in the game. Well, rightly or wrongly, Hrbek and Gaetti would remain so. Puckett would, of course, become a superstar.
Kirby’s career would be cut short from glaucoma and his life would be cut short by a stroke. Between the two, his massively popular public persona would take a hit based on charges of abuse and a rape accusation (of which he was acquitted). In this day and age, we know so much about the athletes we admire on the field. None of their warts, either minor or major, stay hidden. When the accusations were levied against Puckett, it was particularly stinging. This is the short chubby guy who swung a mighty bat. He was the guy who always looked like he was having the most fun on the field. Could he be the monster his accusers claimed? I do not know.
Kirby was one of my favorite players, and I try, and will continue to try, to remember him as the man he was on the field. The man he was when the spotlight was on. Honestly, who knows what of all the rest is true anyway? Is that a cop out?
I’ve been participating in group breaks at Thorzul Will Rule for some time now. I have almost always gotten the Braves in the breaks and they are almost always affordable, so I’m always in. Earlier this year, I pulled a Phil Niekro autograph that I posted about a few weeks ago. This time, he was offering two teams for the price: one from a list of popular teams and then another from a list of less popular teams. I took the Braves and the Rays which is my usual. As the break neared, there were a few teams that hadn’t sold yet. He broken them out into single prices for the teams, so I snatched up the Twins. I did pretty well.
No, there won’t be any more new Kirby Puckett autographs hitting the market. I’m holding onto this one for now, but I would imagine I’ll end up putting it up on eBay at some point. This is easily the best card I’ve pulled in a group break.