Blog Entry

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

Posted on: May 13, 2011 7:42 pm
NEW YORK -- Harmon Killebrew kept the statement simple.

He kept it as positive as he could, given the circumstances. How positive can you be when you tell the world that the battle with cancer is nearing an end, and that cancer is winning the fight?

But the statement Killebrew released Friday emphasized the "benefits" of hospice care, and of how Killebrew was "very comfortable taking this next step."

We shouldn't be surprised. This is how Harmon Killebrew lived his life, how he played, and now how that life is coming to an end.

"Classy guy," longtime teammate Jim Kaat said Friday at Yankee Stadium.

Kaat and Killebrew were together from the time Kaat joined the Washington Senators in 1958, through the team's move to Minnesota, and all the way until Kaat went to the White Sox midway through the 1973 season.

They remained close enough that Kaat will emcee a dinner for Killebrew's foundation, to be held on June 29, Killebrew's 75th birthday.

"He was hoping to come," Kaat said. "I talked to him just the other day, and he said, 'It's going to be tough to get to Minnesota.' I could tell he had slowed down."

The Killebrew that Kaat remembers is one who was always a total professional, a man who was one of the top home run hitters ever but preferred not to draw too much attention to himself.

"He kind of set the tone for the Twins, of being a little vanilla, gentlemanly," Kaat said. "If somebody threw a helmet, you could almost feel Harmon glaring at them."

There are no doubt those who would like to throw a helmet now, upset with the news that Killebrew is in the final days of life.

Don't do it. Don't throw it. Harmon may still be glaring at you.

Category: MLB

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:23 am

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:41 am

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:15 pm

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 1:21 pm

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

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Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 12:42 pm

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:30 am

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 1:21 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 24, 2010
Posted on: May 14, 2011 11:01 pm

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

you have no idea what class is when, you lash at someone who has done so much for his community. Forget sports I am talking about life which you need to get.

Since: Feb 12, 2009
Posted on: May 14, 2011 5:19 pm

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

I enjoyed all of the memories or stories each one of the posters have left us.  Harmon was quite a man, among men.  Those are memories that will always exist and no  one, especially dr.phil can take away.  In fact it makes the memories even stronger, thinking that some unhappy or miserable thinks he can change our image of Harmon.

I say bring it on dr.phil, your feeble attempt has me smiling and remembering that no man can take away your memories.

I have one saying I would like to describe Harmon:  YOU THE MAN.

Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: May 14, 2011 2:47 pm

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

August 2, 1970 -- Al Kaline Day at Tiger Stadium, honoring Detroit's future Hall of Famer. Tigers vs. Twins. Both teams in mediocre seasons. Perfect summer day though. I and a college buddy sat in the upper deck center field bleachers. These were the days when the stadium was still not renovated, everything painted green, from the steel beams holding up the upperdeck, to every single seat. The seats: the old kind, made of wood, the seat flipped up and down, the back was horizontal wooden slats. Even on Kaline day, there were empty seats way out there in the upper deck bleachers where we were sitting. Home plate was a long ways away. There was a game going on, but really, it was so far away, we just relaxed and drank beer, and watched little guys run around the bases in the distance. 4th inning. Harmon Killebrew came to bat. Nearing the end of his career. But he got something he could hit -- you could hear the unmistakable sound of a ball getting crushed even out in the centerfield upper deck. And then we saw it -- the ball coming right at us, like a small meteor. Everyone sitting up there simply froze. The ball kept coming, only the slightest arc in its final descent, 500 feet from home plate -- and then it collided with one of the old, empty seats a few rows below us. The ball went right on through, shattering the wooden slats into splintered pieces. Kids were all over the ball. To this day I regret not going down and picking up a piece of that seat. Mr. Killebrew may be leaving us soon, but he left me and my buddy with a moment that will last forever.

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