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Stark: Another big-time dramatic moment for Mazeroski
Notebook: Pete Rose sighting in Cooperstown
Winfield, Puckett, Maz officially enter Hall of Fame
Caple: Puck all about class
Klapisch: Winfield remembers good and bad times
Maz's shot and other great home runs
Cooperstown's Class of 2001
The 2001 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (Game footage courtesy of MLB.com).
Class of 2001
Dave Winfield recalls the day he chose to play baseball.
avi: 1780 k Real: 56.6 | ISDN
Class of 2001
Kirby Puckett has a message for his dearly-departed mother.
avi: 1360 k Real: 56.6 | ISDN
Class of 2001
Bill Mazeroski is proud to be going into the Hall for his defensive ability.
avi: 1970 k Real: 56.6 | ISDN
Monday, August 6, 2001
Detente? Winfield gives thanks to the Boss
By Jayson Stark
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- As great, lifelong pals go, Dave Winfield and George M. Steinbrenner may never be confused with Lemmon and Matthau, Kramden and Norton or Seinfeld and Costanza.
His Hall of Fame plaque cites his "infectious exuberance." And Kirby Puckett was as true as ever to the words on that plaque Sunday. He was supposed to be too short to play baseball. He was supposed to be too much of a singles hitter to be a star. That never stopped the great Kirby, just the way the blinding glaucoma in his right eye hasn't stopped him from living. "I would say to any young person," Puckett said in his induction speech, "that if anyone tells you you can't do what you want to do or be what you want to be, don't believe them. I wanted to play baseball from the time I was 5 years old. So always remember the guiding principle in my life: You CAN be what you want to be. Work hard, and I tell you that anything's possible." Maybe he can't play baseball anymore. But he's still smiling, still exuding the joy he played with, still brightening the lives of everyone he meets. And he made it clear Sunday that won't be changing. "I'm the most positive person you ever met," he said after the induction ceremony. "I don't let one bad thing get to me. So I'm blind in one eye. I'm probably 20-15 in the other. I could probably hit .290 with one eye. But if it ain't .300, Puck wants no parts of it. "There's nothing," Puckett said, "for me to be mad about. My only regret is that my mom and my dad didn't live to be here today. My mom -- I'm sure she'd be smiling. She probably wouldn't even spank me anymore. I can still feel all those spankings." He earned those spankings. He admits that. He earned them by "hitting the ball through all the neighbor's windows. I broke lamps. I broke everything in the house." "So I want to say, 'Mom, I hope you see now it's worth it. Your little baby's going to the Hall of Fame." Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
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