5.17.2011

RIP, Killer



After announcing last week that he was beginning hospice care and no longer going to be fighting esophageal cancer, Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew passed away today at the age of 74.

"Killer" was a legend among Minnesota fans, not only for his impressive Hall of Fame career, but also because of his work off the field long after his playing days had ended. Killebrew made his baseball debut at age 17 with the Washington Senators in 1954, and played there until the franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961. He stayed with the Twins until 1974, and moved to Kansas City for the 1975 season, after which he retired.

During his 22 year career, he played in over 2,400 games, hit a (steroid free) 573 homeruns, had over 1,500 RBI, and sits at number 15 on the all time walk list with 1,559. He played with the 1965 AL Champion Twins (who ended up losing the World Series in 7 amazing games against the Dodgers). At the time that he retired, he was sitting at number 5 on the all time homerun list, and is currently at number 11. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.

Killebrew was a beloved presence long after his career came to an end. He was still very active with making appearances throughout Twins Territory and raising money and awareness with various charities. He took the time to meet and speak with every fan who would wait in long lines to meet him.

The Twins will be wearing their throwback 1961 uniforms for every home game for the remainder of the season to honor Killebrew. A #3 jersey hangs in their dugout these days. He will not soon be forgotten.

Maybe now the Twins can turn their abysmal season around to honor his memory...

And enjoy this video below, where Harmon sneaks into an interview we were doing with Michael Cuddyer last summer. This is the Killer we will love and remember forever.



5 comments:

Robb said...

Sad news! Nice tribute to Harmon. That video is great! Cuddy seemed to be really close with Harmon. I was thinking the same thing about our Twins turning around the season in honor of the Killer! #3 forever in our hearts!

Sooze said...

So heartbreaking.

Braden said...

He was always my dad and grandpa's favorite - I heard a lot of pretty incredible (and almost unbelievable) stories about the lengths of his homers back in the day. He'll be missed not only in Minnesota, but all over the nation.

dolce59 said...

Braden, those stories your grandpa and dad told were true! I can attest as an older generation Twins fan. As I had recently commented on Sooze's startribune.com blog, Harmon averaged 40 plus homers per season for 10 straight seasons! Can you imagine witnessing that type of power from any of our current Twins? With the exception of this current season. We've seen some pretty amazing accomplishments by our club, but nothing like that! Remember that Harmon did play on an a.l. championship team and two other division champions during his career here. Today is a horrible day in Twins Territory as I am having a hard time saying good bye to my boyhood sports hero!

Anonymous said...

so classy of the mariners to honor him the way they did! Could have just done the little moment of silence but no,they did a video tribute and had Bert come to the stadium to honor him. Classy, classy

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