Previous Page 5 of 6 Next

Continued: After the game: The Kirby Puckett we never knew

Sherm, he'd say. I haven't even stepped up to the plate yet. You just wait.

Sometimes, he wanted to know what Leske was using for bait.

"I'd tell him, 'Puck, I showed you everything you know, but I haven't shown you everything I know,' " Leske said. "Oh, that just got him wild."

Once, under cover of night, the two men tied several small pine trees together and anchored them a few hundred feet off shore in hopes of creating a feeding spot for crappies. It worked great. Only trouble was, it was against the law.

Puckett never let Leske forget it. "He brought that up all the time," Leske said. "He'd say, 'I don't know how the mayor of Dresser can be so illegal.' "

But Leske got in a few laughs, too.

Like the night Puckett and his family were roasting marshmallows over a fire pit near the cabin. Puckett heard rustling in the woods and said, What's that?

Probably a bear, Leske said, straight-faced.

"Next thing I know, I look up and Kirby's gone," Leske said. "I mean, he was out of there."

Same thing happened the day Leske took Puckett ice fishing for the first time. No sooner had the two men hauled their gear onto the lake than the ice cracked.

What's that, Sherm? Leske says Puckett asked.

Just the ice expanding, Leske told him.

That's all Puckett needed to hear.

"I had to carry all the gear back," Leske said. "He just left. He said, 'I'm not going out on the ice. You're trying to kill me, that's what you are trying to do!'

"That was the end of his ice fishing right there."

• • •

Puckett got his 1,000th hit on Sept. 15, 1988, making him only the fourth player to reach that milestone in his first five seasons. He ended the season with a .356 average, second best in the major leagues. "I don't set goals," Puckett said. "I'd rather just say nothing, go out every day and let the chips fall where they may."

• • •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis 3 Top 5th Inning
Washington 0
Toronto 3 Top 5th Inning
Cleveland 0
LA Angels 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Detroit 2
Baltimore 1 Top 3rd Inning
Boston 1
Minnesota 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Kansas City 0
Cincinnati - T. Cingrani 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 3:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - W. Rodriguez
Atlanta - E. Santana 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
NY Yankees - I. Nova 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Seattle - R. Elias 6:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Chicago WSox - J. Quintana 7:05 PM
Texas - C. Lewis
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 7:10 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Arizona - M. Bolsinger 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
San Francisco - T. Hudson 7:40 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Brooklyn 55 3rd Qtr 6:55
Toronto 53
Golden State 2:30 PM
LA Clippers
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Indiana
Memphis 8:30 PM
Oklahoma City
Chicago 2:00 PM
St. Louis
Columbus 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Minnesota 8:30 PM
Colorado
Houston 3:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 3:00 PM
Chicago
San Jose 5:00 PM
Colorado
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Vancouver FC
D.C. 6:30 PM
Columbus
Toronto FC 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Montreal 7:30 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Portland 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Seattle 9:30 PM
Chivas USA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Can the Wild rally to win its playoff series against Colorado?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close