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Tag:Harmon Killebrew
Posted on: May 17, 2011 3:18 pm

Killebrew: 'A lot like Ernie Harwell'

The Twins family gathered at Target Field Tuesday afternoon, saddened by the death of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.

"He was a lot like Ernie Harwell," said ex-Twin and ex-Tiger Jack Morris.

Morris and Killebrew were among the ex-Twins who have become a more common sight around the team in recent years, thanks in large part to efforts by club president Dave St. Peter.

And Morris said Killebrew cared deeply about the team, right to the end.

"He was more worried about how [manager Ron Gardenhire] was holding up and whether Joe Mauer was going to play than he was about how he was doing," Morris said. "Some of the guys who went to see him last week said that, that he asked, 'How's Gardy doing? How's Mauer?'"
Posted on: May 13, 2011 7:42 pm

Killebrew: A 'classy guy' right to the end

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
Posted on: May 13, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: May 13, 2011 11:31 am

Killebrew in final days of cancer battle

Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew announced Friday morning that he is entering hospice and is in the final days of his battle with esophegeal cancer.

"My illness has progressed beyond my doctors' expectations of cure," Killebrew said, in a statement released by the Twins. "I am very comfortable taking this next step and experiencing the compassionate care that hospice provides."

Killebrew, who is 74, announced last December that he had been diagnosed with cancer. At the time, he said that he anticipated "a full recovery."

Killebrew played 22 seasons in the major leagues, beginning with the Washington Senators in 1954, when he was 18 years old. He moved with the franchise to Minnesota in 1961, and played with the Twins through 1974. Killebrew then played one season with the Royals before retiring.

Killebrew, an 11-time All-Star who was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1969, was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1984, in his fourth year on the ballot.

In retirement, Killebrew was a familiar and welcome figure around the Twins, a pleasant man who never seemed to demand special treatment.

In his statement Friday, Killebrew thanked fans for the concern they've shown since the announcement that he has cancer.

"I look forward to spending my final days in comfort and peace with [wife] Nita by my side," he said.
Category: MLB
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