by user DNL

I was 12 years old in October of 1991 -- just old enough to watch my second World Series night game. My first was via special dispensation; at age 8, I was allowed to stay up well past my bedtime to watch the Mets. But this time? I was actually, legitimately, old enough to watch the game.

Kirby Puckett's homer in game six is perhaps my first true baseball memory, at least as far as the post-season goes. Sure, I "remember" Kirk Gibson's homer off Eck, and I "remember" the Bill Buckner/Mookie Wilson goodness. But I also "remember" Carlton Fisk's homer in the 1975 World Series, which was hit a few years before I was born.

It was exceptionally late at night, at least insofar as a 12 year old is concerned. I was wide awake (probably not) on sitting on my parents' bed, watching the game. I couldn't tell you what the score was. I couldn't tell you who the pitcher was. Heck, I barely remember anything about the night, except that when Kirby came to bat, I knew that he was their best chance. Everyone did. He was the Twins -- not just the best player, but the heart and soul. He was the magic that made the Twins into something special.

When he hit the home run, I started to explain to my dad -- to whom sports is a sedative -- just how incredible it was. The moment was lost on them. But for me, it was galvanizing.

Godspeed, Kirby, wherever you are.


Mon 03/06/06, 9:17 pm EST

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