Puckett’s major league debut came on May 8 against the California Angels, a game in which he went 4 for 5 with one run.That year, Puckett hit .296 and was fourth in the American League in singles.Throughout his career, Puckett would routinely appear in the top 10 in the American League in such offensive statistical categories as games played, at bats, singles, doubles, and total bases and such defensive stats as putouts, assists, and fielding percentage for league center fielders.
In 1987, the Twins reached the post-season for the first time since 1970 despite finishing with a mark of 85-77 Once there, Puckett helped lead the Twins to the 1987 World Series.. For the season, Puckett batted .332 with 28 home runs and 99 RBI.During the year, Puckett put on his best performance on August 30 in Milwaukee against the Brewers, when he went 6-for-6 with two home runs, one off Juan Nieves in the third and the other off closer Dan Plesac in the ninth.
Puckett had his best all around season in 1988, hitting .356 with 24 home runs and 121 RBI, finishing third in the AL MVP balloting for the second straight season.Puckett won the AL batting title in 1989 with a mark of .339, while also finishing fifth in at bats, second in doubles, first in hits, and second in singles. In April 1989, he recorded his 1,000th hit, becoming the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to do so in his first five seasons.
In 1991 The Twins and their opponent in the world series , the Atlanta Braves, had each finished last in their respective divisions in the year before winning their league pennant, something that had never happened before.
Going into Game 6, the Twins trailed three games to two with each team winning their respective home games. Puckett gave the Twins an early lead by driving in Chuck Knoblauch with a triple in the first inning. Puckett then made a leaping catch in front of the Plexiglass wall in left field to rob Ron Gant of an extra-base hit in the third. The game went into extra innings, and in the first at-bat of the bottom of the 11th, Puckett hit a dramatic game-winning home run on a 2–1 count off of Charlie Leibrandt to send the Series to Game 7.
This dramatic game has been widely remembered as the high point in Puckett’s career. The images of Puckett rounding the bases, arms raised in triumph (often punctuated by CBS television broadcaster Jack Buck saying “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!”), are always included in video highlights of his career.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights…Kirby Puckett.
|May 8, 1984, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1995, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Runs batted in||1,085|
|Career highlights and awards|