Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I'll think about other things tomorrow

Posted by Craig Westover | 1:44 PM |  

Are we making too much of Kirby Puckett’s death? Isn’t it more than a bit over the top to play a baseball player’s death on a newspaper’s front page? Aren’t there more important topics to be written about? Have we forgotten that baseball is just a game?


In a complex world that makes the infield fly rule seem simple, where “execution” means something more than dropping a bunt down the third base line and reaching home safely is the difference between life and death, baseball is just a game, Kirby Puckett is just a ballplayer -- and we are just human.

For 21 years Kirby Puckett ignited our humanity. Whether it was his smile, the joy with which he played his game, the dedication he brought to his profession, he stirred in us emotions that reminded us what life ought to be about. Joy. And when the legend proved only human, Kirby touched us again. He showed us another side of humanity that moved us differently, but just as profoundly. We weren’t talking abstract sin. We were talking about “Puck.” There but for the grace of God . . . .

Some people affect us through their art. Some through great achievements. Others by manipulating world events. But every great while someone comes along that touches our hearts simply by being who he or she is. Such a person was Kirby Puckett.

There will be other days to write about Afghanistan and Iraq, to preach and pontificate. Today, we remember Kirby. We touch our own humanity. And perhaps tomorrow we might look at the world in just a little different way. That’s worth a front page.

UPDATE: Pioneer Press Twins beat writer Gordon Wittenmyer's piece "Puckett was 'at his happiest'" is a great read. Tonya Puckett is one classy lady.