Kirby Puckett was born on Monday, March 14, 1960, in Chicago, Illinois. Puckett was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on May 8, 1984, with the Minnesota Twins. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Kirby Puckett baseball stats page.
"There are just certain people in baseball that you feel honored to have played with and against. Kirby Puckett was one of those players. For 12 years, Kirby played the game the way it was meant to be played - with enthusiasm, with class, with all-out energy and, most important, with a smile on his face. For Kirby, baseball was a joy and it made the game fun for everyone around him too." - George Brett in Puck Kirby Puckett: Baseball's Last Warrior (Taylor Trade Publishing, 04/01/1997, Page 13)
Kirby Puckett Autograph on a 1987 Donruss (#149)
Kirby Puckett Pitching Stats
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Kirby Puckett Hitting Stats
Kirby Puckett Fielding Stats
Kirby Puckett Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Kirby Puckett Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1984 Minnesota Twins||34||$40,000.00||-||-|
|1985 Minnesota Twins||34||$130,000.00||-||-|
|1986 Minnesota Twins||34||$255,000.00||Stats||-|
|1987 Minnesota Twins||34||$465,000.00||Stats||Stats|
|1988 Minnesota Twins||34||$1,090,000.00||Stats||-|
|1989 Minnesota Twins||34||$2,000,000.00||Stats||-|
|1990 Minnesota Twins||34||$2,816,667.00||Stats||-|
|1991 Minnesota Twins||34||$3,166,667.00||Stats||Stats|
|1992 Minnesota Twins||34||$2,966,667.00||Stats||-|
|1993 Minnesota Twins||34||$5,300,000.00||Stats||-|
|1994 Minnesota Twins||34||$5,300,000.00||Stats||n/a|
|1995 Minnesota Twins||34||$6,300,000.00||Stats||-|
|Kirby Puckett Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Commissioner Bud Selig said the day after Kirby Puckett died, "He was revered throughout the Country and will be remembered wherever the game is played. Kirby was taken from us much too soon -- and too quickly." Baseball Almanac believes every word Selig spoke, and we also believe it is an understatement. Let's remember some of Puck's numbers of interest:
Kirby Puckett / The Puckett Game / Walk-Off Home Run in 1991 World Series
.357 - Kirby Puckett appeared in all seven games of the 1987 World Series , the first year the Twins won it all since relocating to Minnesota , and had ten hits (most on his team) in 28 at-bats - with just one strikeout - for a .357 batting average.
6 - Kirby Puckett, before Game Six (6) of the 1991 World Series , shared the following story, "I went to the clubhouse, and I gathered 'em up. I said, 'Everybody together, we're going to have a short meeting.' Everybody comes in, and I said, 'Guys, I just have one announcement to make: You guys should jump on my back tonight. I'm going to carry us.'" Puckett carried them: a run scoring triple in the first, a catch in the third inning up the plexiglass fence that is one of the greatest in World Series history, a sac-fly in the third inning to put the Twins ahead, then an extra-inning walk off home run in the eleventh inning to cap off what many fans still refer to as The Puckett Game.
10 - Kirby Puckett was once featured on David Letterman's Top Ten Lists, May 10, 1997, Top Ten (10) Ways to Mispronounce Kirby Puckett: 10. Kooby Pickett, 9. Creepy Pockets, 8. Bernie Crumpet, 7. Turkey Bucket, 6. Buddy Hackett, 5. The Puckett Formerly Known as Kirby, 4. Punky Brewster, 3. Kent Hrbek , 2. There once was a man from Nantucket who Kirbied his very own Puckett, 1. Englepuck Kirbydink.
12 - Kirby Puckett played twelve short seasons with the Twins . Jayson Stark, ESPN, said made the following quote about Puck, "In the 12 seasons Kirby Puckett brightened the big leagues with his magical presence, 96 different men made it to home plate wearing the uniform of the Minnesota Twins . But 95 of those men merely played for the Twins . Kirby Puckett was the Twins ."
28 - Kirby Puckett, on the twenty-eighth of March, 1996, awoke with blurred vision, caused by glaucoma, and retired in July of that year as the Minnesota Twins ' all-time leader in at-bats (7,244), total bases (3,453), hits (2,304), runs scored (1,071) and doubles (414).
45 - Kirby Puckett suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke at his home on March 5, 2006. He underwent emergency surgery that day to relieve pressure on his brain; however, the surgery failed, and his former teammates and coaches were notified the following morning that the end was near. Many, including 1991 teammates Shane Mack and Kent Hrbek , flew to Phoenix to be at his bedside during his final hours along with his two children Kirby Jr. and Catherine. His fiancee never left his side. Puckett died on March 6, at the age of forty-five (45), just 8 days from his 46th birthday.
86 - Kirby Puckett was ranked eighty-sixth by The Sporting News when they released their list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players in the history of baseball.
Kirby Puckett, before baseball, grew up in the housing projects in Chicago's South Side. He played baseball at Calumet High School, but only received one scholarship offer, to Miami-Dade Community College - too far from his home, his family, and his friends. A good paying job installing carpet in Thunderbirds for Ford Motor Company opened the door to college baseball and even though he was 5'8 and barely 190 pounds at the time, the Twins picked him in the first round of the 1982 Draft . Baseball researcher / Dennis Yuhasz contributed the following biographical look at this unquestionably great baseball hall of fame outfielder:
One of the most beloved players of his era, Kirby Puckett played baseball with a boyish enthusiasm that has only been equaled in recent times by Pete Rose and Gary Carter . Before his career was tragically ended prematurely, Puckett was one of the top right handed hitters of his time, a Gold Glove outfielder , and the sparkplug of two Twins World Championship teams.
After being drafted and signed by Minnesota in 1982 , Puckett was Player of the Year at two minor league levels before being called up at the beginning of the 1984 season. He rapped out four hits in his Major League debut , batted a solid .296 as the Twins regular centerfielder, and his hustle and enthusiasm made him an immediate fan favorite. Two years later he had his first great season batting .328 with 31 HR's and 96 RBI and won his first Gold Glove . In 1987 he helped Minnesota to their first post season appearance in 17 seasons, as the Twins 85 wins were good enough to win a weak AL West Division. Minnesota went on to defeat the heavily favored Tigers in the ALCS, and Puckett then hit .357 in the Twins World Series win over the Cardinals.
In 1988 Puckett had his finest of many great seasons when he had career highs in batting average (.356), hits (234) and RBI (121). The next year he won his the Batting Title with a .339 mark. Puckett helped the Twins back from last place to the post season in 1991 and won ALCS MVP as Minnesota beat Toronto. In the World Series the Twins faced the equally over achieving Braves who themselves had made the Fall Classic after a basement season the year before. The series turned out to be one of the greatest ever with Minnesota coming back from a 3-2 deficit to win it. With the Twins backs against the wall in Game Six, Puckett single handedly willed Minnesota to victory. He drove in three runs, made a great catch, and finally hit a walk off game winning homerun in extra innings to send the series to a seventh game, where Jack Morris turned in one of baseball's best WS pitching performances in recent history to earn the Twins the championship.
Puckett continued to play at a high peak in the remaining years of his career. In 1993 he was voted the MVP in the All Star Game, and the following season he won his first RBI crown, averaging more than a one a game. Defensively Puckett had been moved to right field and he continued his stellar defense. After another typical great all around year in 1995, Puckett's career took a sudden turn for the worse the following spring when he was diagnosed with glaucoma in his right eye. Surgery was unable to cure the problem and Puckett's career was over with suddenness comparable to the endings of greats Gehrig and Koufax.
Kirby Puckett finished with a .318 lifetime batting average. He was a ten time All Star, and five times in 12 seasons he had 200 or more hits. Puckett was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Kirby Puckett | National Baseball Hall of Fame Plaque | Class of 2001 ( HOF )
What do Jimmie Foxx , Doc Cramer & Kirby Puckett have in common? There are the only three American League players in history to have more than one six-hit game (each had two) during their career! A breakdown appears below:
Philadelphia Athletics vs. Washington Senators, 05-30-1930 (13 innings)
Philadelphia Athletics at Cleveland Indians, 07-10-1932 (18 innings)
Philadelphia Athletics at Chicago White Sox, 06-20-1932
Philadelphia Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers, 07-13-1935
Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers, 08-30-1987
Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers, 05-23-1991 (11 innings)