Kirby Puckett, a childhood hero, passed away yesterday at the age of forty-five. There is little that can be added to the writers I've linked to below.
I hope to remember Puckett for who he was before he retired. His smile, charisma, and love for baseball were infectious. My respect for Puckett has grown the older I get, but is unfortunately tainted by the knowledge that Puckett was all too human. He was able to transcend baseball in many ways, but Puckett could never transcend the human condition.
Kirby, thank you for the memories. We will miss you.
Puckett's Hall of Fame Induction Speech