Twins’ selection of Puckett began a championship run
Five years later, Puckett was leading the Twins to a World Series title and en route to the Hall of Fame.
On Jan. 13, 1982, Puckett was selected by the Twins with the third overall pick of the regular phase of the January Draft. Instituted in 1966 for players who graduated from school in the winter, the January Draft was discontinued after 1986.
Taken with the No. 1 overall pick in 1982 was Kash Beauchamp, who spent 12 seasons in organized ball but never made it to the majors. Following the Blue Jays’ selection of Beauchamp, the Cubs took Troy Afenir, who returned to college before being drafted by the Astros one year later.
Then it was Puckett’s turn.
But after flying from Maine to Atlanta, Puckett’s connecting flight was delayed more than four hours while a new windshield was installed. He arrived at the stadium at 6:10 p.m. and paid an $83 fare for the cab ride before Gardner opted to let him make his debut the following day.
“Nice start, huh”? Puckett told the Star-Tribune.
Puckett was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum