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Harmon Killebrew

Killebrew's Legacy

Killebrew was an intimidating home-run hitter, but teammates and opponents alike remember him for his softspokenness and community outreach. "I didn't have evil intentions, but I guess I did have power," he once said. Killebrew still visits baseball parks and autograph shows across the country while promoting hospice care and typically gives short shrift to his baseball accomplishments. "People get all excited about players who hit home runs," he said at one minor league ballpark. "I actually always felt runs batted in were more important than home runs."

Awards and Accomplishments

1955 Hit first major league homer June 24, against Billy Hoeft of the Detroit Tigers
1959 Tied Cleveland's Rocky Colavito for American League lead in home runs with 42.
1959, 1961, 1963-71 All-Star Team
1962-64 Led American League in home runs with 48, 45 and 49, respectively
1967 Tied Boston's Carl Yastrzemski for American League lead in home runs with 44.
1969 Voted American League Most Valuable Player after leading league in home runs (49) and runs batted in (140).
1971 Hit 500th home run, off Mike Cuellar of Baltimore Orioles
1974 Twins retire his uniform number (3)
1984 Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

The Twins' unexpected appearance in the 2002 American League playoffs—Minnesota won the AL Central and upset Oakland in the first round before losing to eventual World Series champion Anaheim—brought back memories of the Killebrew days in Minnesota, and reminded out-of-towners what "Killer" meant to one of baseball's smaller markets. Eric Slater of the Los Angeles Times described the Twins as one of "history's great smaller-town teams, a club that lost more often than it won but came through just frequently enough—with the help of Hall of Famers such as Harmon Killebrew—to allow major league baseball to survive even in a place where the number crunchers said it couldn't."

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsBaseballHarmon Killebrew Biography - From Idaho To Stardom, Pennant In 1965, Mvp Season, Chronology, Personal Struggles, Charity Endeavors