Tonya Puckett-Miller was the former wife of Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.
She was known for her kindness and willingness to give back to Minnesota.
For instance, Tonya and her departed husband started the Puckett Scholarship in 1994 to provide more opportunities.
Unfortunately, Tonya passed away at the age of 58 from an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.
According to multiple sources including Star Tribune, she was diagnosed with the disease 20 months before her death.
Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme, is a type of aggressive brain cancer that originates in the glial cells, which are the supportive cells that surround and nourish the neurons in the brain.
Glioblastoma is the most common and deadliest type of primary brain tumor in adults, accounting for about 15% of all brain tumors.
Glioblastoma tumors are highly malignant and grow rapidly, invading and destroying healthy brain tissue.
They can occur in any part of the brain, but are most commonly found in the cerebral hemispheres, which are the largest part of the brain responsible for movement, sensation and thought.
Who was Kirby Puckett?
Kirby was a former American professional baseball player who played for the Minnesota Twins in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1984 to 1995.
He was born on March 14, 1960, in Chicago, Illinois, and passed away on March 6, 2006, in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 45 due to a stroke.
Kirby was a center fielder and one of the most beloved players in Twins history.
He was known for his exceptional hitting, fielding, and base-running skills, as well as his infectious personality and positive attitude.
He was a ten-time All-Star, six-time Gold Glove winner, and won two World Series championships with the Twins in 1987 and 1991.
Throughout his career, Kirby amassed impressive statistics, including a .318 batting average, 2,304 hits, 207 home runs and 1,085 runs batted in (RBIs).
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001, and his number 34 was retired by the Twins in 1997.
Despite his success on the field, Kirby’s life was not without controversy.
In 2002, he was accused of sexual assault, and although he was acquitted of the charges, the incident tarnished his reputation.
Nevertheless, Kirby remains a beloved figure in Minnesota and is remembered for his contributions to the Twins and to the game of baseball as a whole.