Along with Dave Winfield is the 36th player to be elected to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.He would have been 46 next week. WCCO-TV was the first to break the story. Another article from ESPN:
Becomes 20th center fielder elected to the Hall of Fame, and is the 44th Hall of Famer to spend his entire career with one franchise.
Won two World Championships (1987 and 1991) during his 12-year career with the Minnesota Twins.
Won American League batting title in 1989, finishing with a .339 average.
His 2,040 hits in his first 10 seasons are the most in baseball history.
A 10-time All-Star and a six-time Gold Glove winner.
Was named the MVP of the 1991 ALCS, a series in which the Twins defeated the Toronto Blue Jays to advance to the World Series.
Hit a game-winning walkoff home run in Game 6 of the '91 World Series.
Retired at the age of 36 after developing glaucoma in his right eye.
This is a sad day for the Minnesota Twins, Major League Baseball and baseball fans everywhere," Twins owner Carl Pohlad said. "Kirby's impact on the Twins organization, state of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest is significant and goes well beyond his role in helping the Twins win two world championships."
Puckett carried the Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991 before his career was cut short by glaucoma. His family, friends and former teammates gathered at the hospital throughout Monday.
"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am terribly saddened by the sudden passing of Kirby Puckett," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. "He was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term.
"He played his entire career with the Twins and was an icon in Minnesota. But he was revered throughout the country and will be remembered wherever the game is played. Kirby was taken from us much too soon -- and too quickly," he said.