Kirby Puckett came up with the Minnesota Twins in 1984 and remained
with the team until an eye ailment forced his untimely retirement in
1996. During that time Puck recorded 2304 hits, over 200 hrs,
over 1,000 runs and RBI, and batted .318. He was elected to 10
consecutive All Star games and let the Twins to two World
Championships in 1987 and 1991. Although not a long career,
Kirby Puckett accomplished a lot. To accomplish these feats,
Kirby no doubt went through a lot of bats In this
section I will outline some of the different bats the Puck used
during his career. In terms o f bat length, they varied from 33.5-36" with
34-34.5 being the most common. In addition, bat weights seem
to vary from 31-33 oz with a very few exceptions with bats weighing
as much as 36 oz. Listed below are all of the different models
ordered by Kirby throughout his career.
Puckett pre-rookie bats
include several R43C models and one order of D2s During the
84-85 labeling period, Kirby ordered R43 and S318Cs primarily with
R43C, C243 and B267C being ordered on just a handful of occasions.
Throughout the 1986-89 labeling period, Puck primarily used
C243s. On rare occasions it appears that R43, S226, P116,
R161and R206 were also sent to the Twins on Puckett's behalf.
1990 Labeling period
In 1990 Puck used C243 and P116 exclusively with them being
cupped on occasion.
Finally, during the 91-95 labeling period, Kirby ordered C243s,
P116, and P339 most often. It was during this time that Puck
made a one time offer of 12 I13s and used other models including P89
Puckett bat orders are compliments of Jim
Kirby Puckett is one of my favorite players. My
personal collection focuses in large part on the five Minnesota
Twins players who have their uniform numbers retired (Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Kent Hrbek and, of course, Kirby
Puckett). Over the past 10 years I have owned a countless number
of Puckett game used bats. I would speculate to say about 20
in total. This has included two of his elusive All Star bats
as well as bats from every period of his career Based on
my personal observations, it is clear to me that as Puckett evolved
as a player, his bat use characteristics seem to have evolved as
well. There are several items that can be commonly found on
Puckett gamers throughout his career that are worth noting when examining Puckett gamers. These items include pine
tar use, tape use, and knob/barrel markings. I will outline my
observations in each of these areas:
Pine tar has been one of the things that Puckett has used
consistently throughout his career. Although the application of the
pine tar has varied to some degree, it is consistently found on
the majority of authentic Puckett gamers that I have owned.
Early on in his career there appears to be a heavier concentration
high on the handle, just below the center labeling with a portion of
it naturally filtering down to the lower handle area (see 1986-89
Puckett bat as well as Puckett photos below). Whereas, later
in Pucks career the pine tar seems more evenly distributed along the
length of the entire handle (see 1991-95 bat photos below)
I have found several photos as well as have owned several
examples of early Puckett bats with a tape wrapped handle (see
Puckett photos below). In these instances, the tape generally
runs 8-9" up the handle from the knob. This appears to be most
prominent between 1984-1986.
It appears that Puck began using Tape again somewhat later in his
career during the 91-95 labeling period. I have owned numerous
Puck bats from this era with a fairly even split between bats with
tape and without tape. During this period, the tape
application is most commonly applied in a criss-cross or spiral
In lieu of tape, at some point during the 1990s began to shave
the handles of his bats. This is often more difficult to pick
up in blond bats but is abundantly clear in many of the black
colored 1991-95 Puckett Louisville Slugger bats that I have owned
KNOB & BARREL MARKINGS
Probably the most unique feature of Puck bats are the knob and
barrel markings. One interesting note is the change style of
"34" added to his bats. Very commonly, the older Puckett bats
(84-85 and 86-89) have an "open" 4 style while the later 86-89 bats
and 91-95 era bats demonstrate a "closed" 4 style (please knob photo
Another common characteristic that I have seen with Puck bats is
for him to include the word "WIN" on the either the knob or barrel
end. Often times in some ornate or clever manner. In
addition, in lieu of his uniform number, I have owned several
examples with either "KIRBY" or "PUCK" written on the knob or barrel
|Puckett pine tar and tape application
The top bat is an 84-85 era Puckett gamer and the other four
are 86-89 era Pucks.
Notice the tape application on the top three bats.
Based on the bats that I have owned and photos I have
studied, it appears that this is a characteristic displayed
by Puck from around the time of his call up in 1984 until
sometime in 1987.
Also, notice that three of the bats have a concentration of pine
starting approximately 10-11" up on
the handle to just below the center oval in all three photos.
This is a characteristic that can been seen commonly on Puck
bats starting in about 1986 through the end of his career in
1991-95 Puckett Gamer
Notice the criss-cross tape in the top three photos.
The criss-cross tape appears exclusively in 1991-95 era
In addition, the 1990s, we see Puckett using more pine
tar and shaving his handles. An example of a shaved
handle is most apparent in the fifth bat down.
Thanks to Brent Bagnall for some of the additional Puckett
bat photos...Thanks Brent!
|Puckett Knob and barrel Markings
circa 1984-86 puck Photos
demonstrating the wrapped tape handle as well as pine tar
Copyright 2006, VintageBats, all