Major League Baseball lost a legend this week in the    passing of Harmon Killebrew. ..."/> Major League Baseball lost a legend this week in the    passing of Harmon Killebrew. ..."/>

Remembering Harmon Killebrew

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Major League Baseball lost a legend this week in the    passing of Harmon Killebrew. Killebrew who in December was diagnosed with esophageal cancer passed away peacefully Tuesday morning with his wife and family by his side. He was 74 years old.

Killebrew was an all around star athlete growing up having played baseball, basketball, football and track as a kid. He was even a high school All American at quarterback and had already accepted a scholarship to the University of Oregon prior to signing with the Washington Senators.

He never did end up playing for the University of Oregon though. Because as fate would have it on one summer night in 1954 the then 17 year old Killebrew hit a 435 foot home run on the same night that then Senators scout Ossie Bluege was there to scout Killebrew.  Having clearly impressed Bluege that night, Killebrew went on to sign with the Senators with whom he made his major league debut later that same year at the age of 18.

While in Washington he got off to a slow start having played in just 113 games with the Senators and another 336 games in the minors during the first 5 seasons of his career.

In 1959 he finally caught on and was named the full time starting third baseman for the Senators knocking in 42 home runs and 105 rbis in 153 games that year. The 1959 season got off to a slow start for Harmon but as the season went on things started to heat up for him and by mid season he already had 28 home runs and was named to the All Star team. Killebrew was receiving so much attention for his tape measure home runs during the 1959 season that then President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower paid

him a visit before a game vs the Red Sox that season.

The following season despite being plagued with injuries he put up 31 home runs and 80 rbis in only 124 games for the Senators. It was both his and the teams last season in Washington as they packed up their bags and moved to Minnesota the following season and became the Minnesota Twins.

Although his stay in Washington was brief Killebrew left his mark n the history of DC baseball posting 82 home runs and 215 rbis in 390 games as a Senator.

For his entire career Killebrew posted

573 home runs- 11th all time
1,548 rbis- 36th all time

He was an 11 time all star and was named to an all star game at 3 different positions (1b, 3b and of).

He was a true legend in baseball and it shows in the words of remembrance that have been given by those in the sport of baseball

“When I learned the news about Harmon today, I felt like I lost a family member. He has treated me like one of his own. It’s hard to put into words what Harmon has meant to me. He first welcomed me into the Twins family as an 18-year-old kid and has continued to influence my life in many ways. He is someone I will never forget and will always treasure the time we spent together. Harmon will be missed but never forgotten.” — Joe Mauer

“This is a sad day for all of baseball and even harder for those of us who were fortunate enough to be a friend of Harmon’s. Harmon Killebrew was a gem. I can never thank him enough for all I learned from him. He was a consummate professional who treated everyone from the brashest of rookies to the groundskeepers to the ushers in the stadium with the utmost of respect. I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for Harmon Killebrew. He was a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word.” — Rod Carew

“No individual has ever meant more to the Minnesota Twins organization and millions of fans across Twins Territory than Harmon Killebrew. Harmon will long be remembered as one of the most prolific home run hitters in the history of the game and the leader of a group of players who helped lay the foundation for the long-term success of the Twins franchise and Major League Baseball in the Upper Midwest. However, more importantly Harmon’s legacy will be the class, dignity and humility he demonstrated each and every day as a Hall of Fame-quality husband, father, friend, teammate and man. The Twins extend heartfelt sympathies and prayers to the Killebrew family at this difficult time.” – Dave St. Peter, Minnesota Twins president

Killebrew was a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, friend, teammate, philanthropist and to many of fans an idol when it came to the game of baseball and is sure to be missed by many.