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A Legend Remembered

17 May

(Reuters) – Harmon Killebrew, a big-swinging Hall of Famer whose home runs made him the face of the Minnesota Twins, died on Tuesday at the age of 74.

Here are some reactions to the death of the former player, who retired in 1975 after a 22-year career and remains 11th on Major League Baseball’s all-time home run list.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL COMMISSIONER BUD SELIG

“All of baseball has lost a true gentleman who represented the Minnesota Twins with class and grace for decades. Harmon was as tough and feared a competitor on the field as the game has ever seen, while off the field he touched everyone he encountered with his sensitive and humble nature. He was not only a Hall of Fame player, but a Hall of Fame person.”

JIM POHLAD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MINNESOTA TWINS

“This is truly a sad day in the history of the Minnesota Twins organization. The Twins will remember Harmon for his many on-field contributions but more importantly for the impeccable quality of his character, his great integrity and his compassion for everyone he encountered.”

BERT BLYLEVEN, FORMER KILLEBREW TEAM MATE IN MINNESOTA

“We all loved Harmon so much. Harmon was a great man, on and off the field. He was a bigger Hall of Famer off the field. Everyone that Harmon ever came in contact with has a story about what a class man he was.”

GEORGE BRETT, FORMER KILLEBREW TEAM MATE IN KANSAS CITY

“He was just a fierce competitor and a perfect gentleman at the same time. You don’t see that a lot. Sometimes you get fierce competitors who are bad people. You see guys that are not fierce competitors but nice guys. You don’t see the two of them together very much.”

ROD CAREW, FORMER KILLEBREW TEAM MATE IN MINNESOTA

“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.”

JEFF IDELSON, NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME PRESIDENT

“Harmon was a Hall of Famer on and off the field. He was baseball’s version of Paul Bunyan, with his prodigious home run power, leading by example in the clubhouse and on the field. Off the field, he emanated class, dignity, and warmth, and he was a great humanitarian. He was so down-to-earth, you would never realize he was a baseball legend. It’s ironic that his nickname was “Killer” as he was one of the nicest, most generous individuals to ever walk the earth.”

JANE FORBES CLARK, CHAIRMAN, BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

“Harmon Killebrew personified Hall of Fame excellence in every aspect of his dynamic life. He will forever be remembered for his 573 career home runs and as the 1969 American League Most Valuable Player, and as one of the greatest hitters of his era. Since joining the Hall of Fame family in 1984, Harmon was a beacon of light among his fellow Hall of Famers, always smiling, always enjoying every moment that life delivered at his doorstep. We have so many fond memories of this wonderful baseball hero, and we will miss him enormously.”

KILLEBREW FAMILY

“It is with profound sadness that we share with you that our beloved Harmon passed away this morning. He died peacefully surrounded by Nita and our family. He will be missed more than anyone can imagine but we take solace in the fact that he will no longer suffer. We thank you for your outpouring of support and prayers and take comfort in the fact that he was loved by so many.”

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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Baseball, Sports

 

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