Kirby Puckett was my baseball hero growing up. I just had to get him in each year’s fantasy draft with my friends, even if it meant overpaying for him by drafting him a round too early or trading way too much to get him once the season started. I just loved when I was able to watch him play the White Sox on TV and I’ll never forget his leaping catch or his game winning home run in extra innings in the World Series against the Braves. He was a great ballplayer and I was devastated when he had to retire due to glaucoma. It cut his career way too short and I’m glad to see baseball put him in the hall of fame.

Now, imagine my sadness to wake up and learn that Puckett suffered a stroke and is in critical condition after brain surgery. Health concerns cut his baseball time short and I’m praying that those concerns don’t also cut his life short.

Note from Mastrick: Bye bye to you too Kirby, we’ll miss you man.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail