Kirby Puckett Remembered in the Lens of October Ball

Two threads intersect in this post. I’ll try to tie them together as neatly as I can.

1 – I’m actually more enthused about this baseball post-season than many of the last decade. In a strange way, having the Braves never get in it changed my expectations and experience. Rather than watching them lose in the divisionals and then shift my loyalties to whoever was the least Met-iest or least Yankee-iest was one thing. Actually wishing the Tigers well from the beginning, wishing the Cards would make it all the way is different. And as I go through this, rooting the Cards over the Mets, the Tigers over the A’s, I remember how much I just love this game. It’s great to have your team win, but that can blind you to the beauty and power of the game itself. This lingerning bit of pastoral America being played all over the country all summer but now in a few big cities, watching the pitching changes and the strategy and the suicide squeezes and the hit-and-runs that work or don’t, it all gets me right there. And by not having them in the playoffs this year and breaking their entitlement streak of October baseball, it reminds me how much I love the team of the Atlanta Braves.

2 – I’m six months behind in my vlog viewing, so a video that was posted during spring training, right after Kirby Puckett’s untilmely and sad death, just got watched by me in the thick of the LCS. It’s a piece on a Kirby Puckett memorabilia collector and like you, sir, I too got misty after Kirby died. Even though my main memory of him is beating my beloved Braves in the World Series, the thought of losing him at 45 couldn’t be sadder. And, I got misty watching this video too. God bless you and every one of those 2500 baseball cards. Keep the memory of a great player and a good man with a fat ass swing alive.

Those silly commercials have it right. I do love this game. I love it in April and man do I love it in October.

PS – Go Cards!