Before Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, Kirby Puckett, center-fielder for the Twins and my childhood idol, gathered his teammates around for a quick talk before they took the field. “You guys should jump on my back tonight. I’m going to carry us.” Puckett made good on his promise. The Twins had been behind 3-2 to the Atlanta Braves before Game 6, during which Puckett hit the game-winning home run and made the best outfield catch, against the center-field wall, possibly ever seen in baseball. (Puckett, who was a very stocky 5’8″, had incredible and surprising athleticism. What was so jaw-dropping about that catch wasn’t just the air he got, but how powerful his arm was. Look how far he throws that baseball! He totally windmills his arm around to get that distance. Just amazing.) That game propelled the Twins to a World Series win.
I miss you, Kirby. Whenever I hear “Goliath,” I think of you.