I remember when some sports star from my father's or grandfather's era would pass away. My dad or grandpa would tell me about games they watched these sports star play in. I'd listen to their stories but in the back of my mind think how old that made may father or grandfather seem. The sports stars of my generation were still playing and it seemed at the time they would play forever.
Needless to say, I was surprised to hear last week that Kirby Puckett died at the age of 45. Though he played for the rival Minnesota Twins (the team thanks in part to Pucket's effort, that denied the Tigers a shot at the '87 World Series) he was a player I always admired not only because of his exceptional all-around baseball skills but because he was always one of those athletes that kept his nose clean. When he made the news it was because of his baseball skills, not because of contract negotiations or problems with the law.
Since my boys are too young to listen to or care about Kirby Puckett, Marathon Girl became my sounding board. And the entire time I talked to her about him, couldn't help but feel old.