Happy In Bag

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I Loved This Man

I couldn’t be more excited about the World Baseball Classic. Baseball finally has a true World Series. I’m eagerly anticipating today’s game between Mexico and the United States.

Yet as far as I can tell, I’m the only person in Kansas City who cares. Baseball is an afterthought here, and its popularity is waning in the rest of the country.

Given the state of baseball, it’s sadly appropriate that the game’s best ambassador of my generation, Kirby Puckett, died yesterday. While 40-year-olds Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds continue to rack up mind-boggling statistics superior to Puckett’s career numbers, they’re unpleasant men.

Puckett was different. Not only did the stubby man not look like a star athlete, he didn’t act like one either. The title of his autobiography was I Love This Game! The statement was immediately apparent to all who saw him play with unbridled joy for the Twins in their frequent games against the Royals.

Sure, I’ll cheer for the sullen Clemens and the bitter Bonds today. They’re great players. But I don’t like them. I loved Kirby Puckett.


  • At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hey bill,

    i loved kirby too. he was the man. i remember playing little league, even wiffle ball and we all wanted to hit like puckett. he had such a different outlook on things.

    i'm sure it's a sad day in minnesota today.

    peace | chris

  • At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I thought I was the only person in Kansas City stoked about the WBC. I spent two hours yesterday in the 54th Street Grill in Grandview watching US vs. Mexico, and I may do the same again today. Negligence? Perhaps. Patriotism? Not really. International Baseball Fevah? Absolutely!

  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    I'm glad to hear that it's not just me, Rocky. The Cuba-Venezuela game is in extra innings at this moment. It's incredibly exciting. The weird thing is that the stadium is virtually empty.

  • At 4:51 PM, Blogger Happy In Bag said…

    I meant Cuba-Panama. And Cuba won. Now, Matt Stairs and the rest of Canada is whipping the USA. They're even talking about the mercy rule. What the heck!

  • At 9:01 PM, Blogger AJ said…

    Puckett played with panache. I guess I have mixed feelings about the media love, though...the criminal charges tarnished his admirable love for the game.


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