Friday, October 15, 2010

Kirby Puckett: The Infielder?

I was recently perusing through my Kirby Puckett trading cards from my youth and I stumbled across a very interesting card.  It shows Kirby Puckett in a position that seemed extremely odd to me.  He is standing near 2nd base and trying to tag out a runner stealing that base.  

The card is a 1996 Upper Deck #130.  Another oddity about the card is that it came out the year after he was done playing.  Possibly explaining the interesting choice for the picture.  As you can see in the card, listed right below his name is the position he plays, OF.  That could be very confusing for a young collector.  What is an outfielder doing in the infield trying to picking off runners?

The back of the card also show Kirby standing in his defensive ready position in the infield.  He looks very focused and ready to play a position he was not accustom to.  The one problem might be that it certainly looks like he is using his larger outfield glove at his infield position.  A spot usually reserved for smaller gloves.

This got me curious about Kirby and his infield experience at the majors.  In his entire career, Puckett played parts of 11 games at three infield positions.  All of these games were in the 1990, 1992, and 1995 seasons.

The position in the infield that Puckett had the most experience at was third base.  He played in a total of four games at this position during his career.  His totals at 3B include 3.1 innings.  These innings included 14 plate appearances but he never had a ball hit his way while he played the hot corner.  

His second base experience includes four games and a total of 2.1 innings.  There were eight batters that stepped to the plate and saw Puckett at 2B.  Out of all of the infield positions he played this is the only one that included an assist from Puckett.  His career fielding percentage from 2B is a perfect 1.000 in one chance.  His best fielding percentage of any position that he played.

The final position that Puckett played in the infield was shortstop.  He played SS in three different games but the weird thing is he only managed to rack up 0.1 innings at the position.  He saw a total of three batters while he played SS and the Twins only managed to get one of them out.  

Puckett doesn't have a long resume in the major leagues as a infielder, but it did happen.  And his career fielding percentage as an infielder will always be perfect.  

1 comment:

Micah Cox said...

Haha, I just came across my old baseball cards in my attic and was sifting through some that I had meticulously organized probably 15 or 16 years ago. In doing so, I came across this very card and immediately paused and asked myself, is that Kirby Pucket playing infield late in his career. I thought, maybe he played some 1st at the end, but no, that's not a first basemen's mit and yes, it appears he's around 2nd Base. So I Google "Kirby Pucket Shortstop" and I found this post! Good information! You saved me the effort of further research!