Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Waking up when the smile's gone

I spent most of yesterday in a melancholy mood (which I might try to get into later in the week), so I probably reacted more strongly to the news of Kirby Puckett's death than I may have at a different time.

Puckett was one of my favorite baseball players to watch, probably because his squat, roly-poly body resembled mine. If he could play centerfield with that kind of build, then maybe there was hope for me, too. In high school, I wrote a term paper on Negro League baseball for a history class, and used Puckett as a bridge to modern-day sports. I couldn't imagine baseball without someone like him, who played with so much joy.

I wrote much more about this on my sports blog today. To me, it feels like kind of a wake-up call (as if I really needed another one). If someone like Puckett could die at 45 years of age, what sorts of changes do I need to make in my life?

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images - via ESPN.com)