Kirby Puckett suffered a stroke this morning. The lack of details late this evening regarding his condition seems ominous to me. I hope and pray that worry is misplaced.
There are lots of entertainers in this world, but Puckett has a special place for the people of Minnesota. In an era when most look out for number one, "In 1992 he passed up more lucrative offers to re-sign with the Twins, and in 1995 he turned down the opportunity to become a free agent altogether. His enthusiasm and humility — he drove to the ballpark every day in an old pickup truck — made him one of the most universally respected players of his generation."
I've seen Kirby Puckett around town a couple of times, once at a store in Edina and another time when he was coming back from fishing on the St. Croix River. I didn't bother him because he was just a regular guy doing ....well, regular stuff. It seemed wrong to me to go up and intrude by saying hello or asking for an autograph. There have been some issues in his post-MLB life, and though they haven't amounted to much as far as the public is concerned, I suspect things haven't been a bed of roses since he was forced into early retirement due to glaucoma and blindness in one eye.
Regardless, what he did while he played here, and more importantly, how he did it, has mattered most to me.
Good luck Kirby, I and many others I'm sure, are praying for you.