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Continued: Souhan: Kirby vs. Joe? This argument sounds familiar

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 29, 2014 - 9:48 PM

During his 10th season, Puckett moved from a prime defensive position, center field, to right. After his 10th season, Mauer was shifted from a prime defensive position, catcher, to first base.

The Twins moved Puckett because he had lost a step. They moved Mauer because of concussions and other injuries that kept him out of the lineup. Puckett remained a productive hitter before his career prematurely ended in the spring of 1996.

Perhaps the best way to compare the two, regardless of perception and postseason experience, is this:

Puckett was a borderline Hall of Fame player who made it on the first ballot in part because of his status as a beloved ambassador of the game whose career ended prematurely.

If Mauer remains healthy, he will be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection for no reason other than statistical merit.

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

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