10 September 2013

puck stopped here - more kirby puckett final tribute cards

puckett is the third of the three hall of famers to be featured in 1997 sets with 'final tribute' cards.  i previously posted his upper deck cards from that year, and now here are the other cards that reflect on his short but significant career.

puckett's career was ended by failing eyesight towards the end of spring training in 1996.  once it became clear that puckett would not be able to continue playing, the twins held a 'kirby puckett night' at the metrodome in his honor.  

1997 upper deck collector's choice made a couple of cards that featured photos from that night.
this is a great final tribute card.  one of the best, to be honest.  from the pose to the 'tribute' insignia to the inclusion of his complete year-by-year stats on the back (along with another photo from the ceremony)
there really isn't too much missing from this card.  note the '29' on puckett's hat.  that was a reference to fellow twin and hall of famer rod carew, whose daughter had recently passed away after a battle with leukemia.

puckett received a card in the 1997 ud cc insert set 'the big show' as well
the only other 1997 cards (that i know of, anyway) of puckett came from fleer.  a very nice fleer ultra
and a pretty good regular fleer
both with complete career stats.  and, in the case of the fleer flagship, complete with photos of puckett using breathe-right nasal strips.

once again, topps missed the final tribute boat in 1997.  however, with puckett not having played in 1996, cards from 1996 also work as final tributes.  i will show my two favorite puck cards from that year  - first, his upper deck card, which features puckett playing shortstop in a game that occurred exactly 18 years ago today
puckett moved from dh to second base in the bottom of the 9th against the angels that day.  the score was tied 8-8, and after spike owen singled, puckett moved from second to short.  his card shows him covering second after a sacrifice bunt by rex hudler in an attempt to retire owen who advanced on the play.  it sure looks like owen was about to be forced out, but he was safe.  that's ok, as owen was forced at third on the next play - a botched sacrifice by jim edmonds.  after that play, puckett moved over to third base to finish out the inning.  it's not clear which of the three infield positions puckett is playing in the photo on the back of the card.
the back is also devoid of year-by-year stats, which is one thing that i want in my final tributes.  thankfully, topps issued a card of puckett in 1996
complete with the stats, just the way i like 'em.
now that's a final tribute card.

1 comment:

The Junior Junkie said...

Poor Kirby - his story always gets to me.

Great post titles, btw.