Weather Center | Classifieds | Advertise With Us 

Tampa Bay Online Edition

Last Updated: Jul 23, 2008 - 4:15:37 PM 

Front Page 
 Top Stories
 Features and Series
 Finding Florida
 Community In Focus
 Links Mentioned
 In Your Words
 News & Community
 Community News
 Where In South Hillsborough?
 Observing The Web
 In Uniform
 Community In Retrospect
 Nation and World
 Positive Talk
 Over Coffee
 Saturation Point
 View From the Road
 Wandering Florida
 Savvy Senior
 You, Me and Business

Observer Classifieds

Place a Classified Ad

Send a Letter to the Editor

Send a Press Release

Staff Directory

Archives / Search 2003

Community Links


Commentary: Godspeed Kirby
By Mitch Traphagen
Mar 9, 2006 - 8:11:00 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

I played baseball until high school. I was never a fanatic and I was certainly never good at it but to me, baseball was summer. It represented all that was good in America.

In high school, however, I discovered that I would rather sling a guitar over my shoulder than a baseball bat. I never memorized the statistics of the game and I lost track of the names.

Except for one name, that is: Kirby Puckett.

I was living and working in Minneapolis when the Twins won the '91 World Series. There was a parade downtown and I left my office to watch it go by. Seemingly in the center of it all was Kirby Puckett. He hadn't forced his way to the center — he was just naturally there. His smile, his talent and his enthusiasm brought focus and fun to the game for fans and non-fans alike. For me, and for millions of others like me, Kirby Puckett was baseball — he represented all of the good things in that great game.

In later years, there were reports of some serious flaws — but this isn't the time for that. This is the time to remember the good — the hope and joy he brought to the game and to the millions who saw him play. Whether hitting a home run in the Metrodome or scaling the centerfield wall for a catch, all things seemed possible for that sometimes-maligned team.

And indeed, it was. With more hits than anyone in the history of the sport during his first 10 years, with two World Series wins, with home runs and stolen bases, with baseballs tossed from deep centerfield to home plate, with Puckett smiling through it all, he made America's sport a game to watch. And he reminded me, a onetime fan who had long forgotten, that baseball is indeed played on a field of dreams.

But he left us all too early. Godspeed Kirby Puckett — thanks for memories, the joy and the enthusiasm. And thanks for the reminder.

What follows is a public comments section. This is not from the Observer News staff - it comes from other people and contains their opinions and theirs alone. The Observer News does not control the material that follows. We do, however, reserve the right to remove objectionable material at our discretion. By that we mean that we will edit or delete any content that we deem is inappropriate. By posting your comments, you are stating that you agree to these terms.

Click here to report a comment. [an error occurred while processing this directive]

© Copyright 2008 by The Observer News Publications and M&M Printing Company, Inc.

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Commentary: Losing A Friend, Gaining Some Faith
Saying Goodbye to a Friend
Together We Can Create A Miracle