A Tribute to Harmon “Killer” Killebrew (R.I.P.)

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I feel compelled to say something about Harmon Killebrew, the 74 year-old ex-Twins slugger who announced a few days ago that he is no longer going to keep his fight up with cancer and instead will go into a hospice situation so he can be with his family in his last days.

Killebrew died today, Tuesday May 17th, 2011 from esophageal cancer.

I remember Killebrew when I was a kid in the ’60s as he was always putting up big home run numbers. He still stands at #11 all-time with his 576 bombs. “Killer” Killebrew was the AL MVP in 1969 with 49 homers and 140 RBIs, but his Twins went on to lose to Baltimore in the ALCS that year.

Harmon Killebrew grew-up in Idaho, played from 1954 till 1975 starting out with the Washington Senators before they moved to Minnesota and became the Twins, and played his final year  in 1975with the Kansas City Royals.

I remember as a young lad occasionally seeing him on Saturday mornings with Curt Gowdy announcing the games. He seemed to always take a full swing at the plate and was feared by opposing pitchers. Killibrew had 380 homers at age 31 and was ahead of Babe Ruth at the time, making him the favorite around baseball to go on to break Ruth’s record. However, his numbers fell off after 1970, leaving him in the # 3 spot when he retired.

It is sad to watch another of my boyhood idols fade away but I take comfort in the fact that the team will be wearing 1960s throwback jerseys for the rest of their home games this year. Thanks for the memories Harmon and say hello to all the other HOF’ers when you get up there!

http://jeffsmariners.com

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