06 March 2006

KIRBY PUCKETT PASSES


MINNEAPOLIS - Kirby Puckett died Monday, a day after the Hall of Fame outfielder had a stroke at his Arizona home, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 45.

Puckett died at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Kimberly Lodge said. He had been in intensive care since having surgery at another hospital following his stroke Sunday morning.

The hospital said Puckett was given last rites and died in the afternoon.

"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am terribly saddened by the sudden passing of Kirby Puckett," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. "He was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term.

"This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere," Twins owner Carl Pohlad said.

Puckett's birthdate was frequently listed as March 14, 1961, but recent research by the Hall of Fame indicated he was born a year earlier.

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