Harmon Killebrew Dies

May 17, 2011 by staff 

Harmon Killebrew DiesHarmon Killebrew Dies, Harmon Killebrew Sat slumped against the window of the plane, row C, and seat B, the departure from Phoenix to Detroit, on the way to Cooperstown, NY
Not when he hit 573 homers during his career of 22 years. Not when he entered the Hall of Fame baseball in 1984. Since then, not now. It was called “murderer”, but could have been the most apt nickname in all sports. Harmon Clayton Killebrew was a gentleman baseball final. Killebrew, 74, who died Tuesday of esophageal cancer, had the ego of a batboy.

He is the 11th most-runs in baseball history, but never know he even went further in Little League.

“I loved that man, brought the best of all,” said John Boggs, a close friend who manages part of the marketing of Killebrew. “He was the first player he idolized as a kid growing up in Washington DC, when he played for the Senators. I grew up, and got a dream, meetings and do business with my idol.” I always hoped and prayed ‘d be all that his idol would be. He was much more than that. I cannot think of a better, warmer, more genuine person I know. ”

Killebrew relaxed and looking forward to his annual visit to Cooperstown two years ago, reclined his seat and started talking about baseball. There were stories, but more questions. He talked about steroids in baseball. He asked about the hitters that could have juice. He wanted to know how the visitor sitting next to him would vote for the future Hall of Fame candidates suspected or caught with illegal drugs to improve performance

He really did not care that he was not the greatest right-handed batter hit home run in history, and the second in the American League only Babe Ruth when he retired in 1975. No one hit more home runs in the 1960′s. Hit at least 40 homers in eight seasons, including 49 during his MVP season in 1969. He ranked fifth on the all-time list when he retired, one behind Frank Robinson.

He served there for 26 years. However, one by one, quickly began to be passed. Mark McGwire. Barry Bonds. Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa. Alex Rodriguez. Jim Thome. He walked for 11 in the list of all time, with some of the sluggers linked to steroids. Killebrew appreciated the players that happened, they were clean, but he was concerned the other trick to get ahead. I was hoping that voters would keep them out of Cooperstown.

It’s a place he considered a holy shrine, not a resting place for the hitters that produced inflated numbers with the help of needles and pills.

“It’s a shame,” he was saying on the fly, but what you going to do? I feel bad for Hank Aaron. To me, he is still the home run champion of all time. Roger Maris should still have the single record of the season. Just so I made that year, he should be in the Hall of Fame. “I feel a bit stupid now, not knowing what some guys were doing. I had no idea. ”

Killebrew shook his head slowly, not with anger, but disappointment. It is expected that the legacy of Aaron never diminished simply because Bonds eclipsed his home run record. “For me, the guys who thought they never received the recognition they deserve,” Killebrew said, “was Stan Musial Musial and Al Kaline. It was an unbelievable player, as good as anyone who played the game. And Kaline, 10, I thought it was the best complete player in the American League. He did everything right. ”

On the other hand, it was always said about Killebrew, who was so concerned about the fans that actually practice-signing autographs, making sure each letter is perfectly legible.

“He was proud of his firm,” said Boggs. “There was beauty and perfection in it. You can read all the letters.”

Killebrew even worked with younger players such as Hunter, telling them to take pride in their autograph. If a child wanted an autograph, Killebrew said, it was his duty to make sure it was legible.

“It was just a fierce competitor and a gentleman, at the same time,” said Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett the Arizona Republic last week. “I do not see much of it. Sometimes you fierce competitors who are bad people. You see kids who are not fierce competitors, but the good guys. You do not see the two together a lot.”

Milwaukee Brewers said reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who played six years for the Twins: “. What a joy to be around He was always so accessible and his smile made everyone who comes into contact with the man feel special Unbelievable. .

The Twins plan to hang Killebrew jersey, No. 3, in its booth at each game for the rest of the season. He may be gone, but certainly never be forgotten.

“I did not know him as a baseball player,” Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer said, “but I know him as a human being, and is as real as anyone I know.” It is likely that the first three people I’ve met in my life. Definitely three most influential, along with my parents. … “He’ll be in a better place … and be held in such high regard in the next life as it is now.”

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