Amid all the excitement and fanfare surrounding the opening of Target Field, there is one element of Twins baseball that is noticeably missing from the scene. This element is the presence of the great Kirby Puckett. I join all Twins fans in wishing he could be present to witness this great team and stadium. I appreciate the respect shown to Kirby by both the Twins and Target Field, during this time. I also enjoyed seeing his ex-wife and son present at the opening game festivities.
When I was10 years old, I had the great pleasure of meeting Kirby at the then Northwest Tennis Club in St. Louis Park, MN. Now it’s a Lifetime Fitness Club.
My friends and I were there for a tennis lesson and we decided to walk into the basketball gym, because we were a few minutes early. There was a full court game taking place, with Kirby taking part as one of the players. Kirby noticed that we had discovered him, so he stopped the game to come shake our hands and sign autographs for us. What a thrill for a group of young boys who were and still are huge Twins fans. I still have vivid memories of that day.
I know Kirby took part in some questionable behavior, much later on, in his way too short life. But, after this experience and the two World Titles he brought home to Minny, I look back at his career and life with nothing but the greatest level of fondness.