His teammates only had the best of things to say about the Hall-of-Famer, but offered some very candid conversation as well. In fact, none of what made Harmon Killebrew a world class athlete was even discussed by those who knew him best. Most of what everyone has been saying about the former Minnesota Twin great, who died in hospice care after a long battle with esophageal cancer, revolved around the fact that he was an even larger presence off the field.
Killebrew excelled not only at hitting home runs, accruing 573 in his illustrious career, but at accommodating teammates and giving back to the community. Killebrew was often one of the first to welcome the rookies at training camp, and one of the last to leave volunteer functions. But ultimately, the fact that he shunned the limelight and was a quiet leader made the longest-lasting impressions on former Twins greats. Recent Hall-of-Fame inductee Bert Blyleven even called Killebrew the face of the whole Twins organization, adding that “he probably left an impression in this five-state area bigger than any politician or whoever.”
So it’s with a heavy heart that baseball fans everywhere should remember Harmon Killebrew, a legend on and off the field, and a great ambassador for the game of baseball. Killebrew suddenly passed away yesterday, all too soon at the age of 74.