Puckett paraphernalia becoming hot property

Fans are snatching up anything with Kirby Puckett on it — collectors’ cards, baseballs, posters, jerseys and other memorabilia.
Ripley Peterson, manager of Field of Dreams in the Mall of America in Bloomington, said Saturday the store had twice as many customers as usual.
“And they’re asking for everything from cards to signed baseballs to signed photographs,” Peterson said.
He said hundreds of people were in his store looking for Puckett items since the Minnesota Twins’ star announced Friday evening that he was retiring from baseball. Puckett’s career was cut short at age 35 by glaucoma that caused 20/400 vision in his right eye.
Paul Kuntz, a salesman for Everything for the Sports Fan in St. Paul, said Puckett’s announcement started the store’s telephones ringing.
“Phone call after phone call, people are asking if we have anything concerning Kirby Puckett,” Kuntz said.
Jerry Erickson, owner of Hub Sports Cards in Richfield, said he sold a Puckett card to every baseball customer who came into his store since Friday.
Ryan Clancy at Sports Collection in St. Paul said there was a tenfold increase in demand for Puckett items.
Calvin Haverkamp, owner of Ballpark Sports Cards in St. Louis Park, said he had just sold a jersey that Puckett wore in batting practice in 1990 for $495. The jersey had been hanging in his store for six months, he said.
Chris Morris, manager at Shinders in Minneapolis, said collectors’ cards have been the biggest sellers. Also going quickly, he said, were autographed balls and pictures and copies of Saturday’s editions of both Twin Cities major daily newspapers, which carried banner headlines and extensive coverage of Puckett’s announcement.
Shinders’ salesman Tom McCluskey said it wasn’t only kids and collectors who were looking for Kirby items.
“We have people who have never bought a card before coming in and buying Puckett’s,” he said.