Harmon Killebrew Loses Battle With Esophageal Cancer

For more on the life and times of Harmon Killebrew, be sure to check out Twinkie Town.

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Michael Cuddyer Reminisces About Harmon Killebrew

One of the more touching tributes to Harmon Killebrew that has come out since the announcement of his passing has come from current Minnesota Twin Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer first met Killebrew at a baseball clinic at Old Dominion University in Virginia when Cuddyer was 21 years old, and was immediately amazed at how cordial Killebrew was and how he treated the young Twins' prospect.

What has stuck with Cuddyer the most from his friendship with Harmon Killebrew, however, was the importance of how to sign a proper autograph, as Cuddyer explains. This anecdote comes from an autograph session at a Twins Caravan stop back in 2005.

Now, at that time, I didn't have the prettiest of signatures. As a matter of fact, it was downright awful. It was pretty reminiscent of an EKG that you would get from one of your physicals. You could make out the M and the C, but after that, it could have been Miley Cyrus who signed your ball for all you knew. Once Harmon was notified that the signature in question was mine, he told me that if he saw this ink spot go through the line again, he was going to walk away and stop signing. The only person the people would have been mad at if Harmon had stopped signing was me. From that moment on, I have made it a point to sign my autograph so fans can actually read it. Every single autograph I have signed since then, I have heard Harmon in my head saying, "If you are going to take the time to sign your name, you better make sure people can read it."

Personally, this is a lesson that a lot of professional athletes could stand to take to heart. Scribbling on something and putting a couple of dots above it or putting a slash somewhere in it isn't "signing" something.

Just another example of how highly Harmon Killebrew thought of the fans of the Minnesota Twins, and fans of baseball in general, and how he attempted to impress that upon the current major leaguers that he had an opportunity to interact with. Every franchise should be so lucky as to have a man like Harmon Killebrew for their current players to look up to.

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Harmon Killebrew Was Inspiration For MLB Logo

Depending on who you ask, Twins' legend Harmon Killebrew will truly be a part of Major League Baseball forever. Not just because of his abilities on the field or his candor and charity off of it, but because he was, from most accounts, literally the symbol of Major League Baseball.

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Yes, according to an Arizona Republic interview, the iconic logo of Major League Baseball was, indeed, based on Harmon Killebrew, much the same as the NBA logo was based on Lakers' legend Jerry West. Even though the powers that be in baseball would never actually come out and say as much, Killebrew knew that it was him.

"You know, I was in the commissioner's office when the mock-up for that logo was being done," Killebrew once told me. "But for some reason, they won't admit it's me. It's an interesting thing, and I don't know why."

But in typical, graceful Killebrew fashion, he never raised a stink or made a big deal about it.

Another interesting story from the Arizona Republic piece. He was the first player ever to hit a home run over the left field roof at old Tiger Stadium in Detroit. . .no small feat, considering that the roof was 94 feet high and three decks off of the ground. When he got back to the team hotel after the game, there were messages from six different people claiming that they had the ball and wanted to sell it to Killebrew.

Of course, none of them knew that the Tiger Stadium groundskeeper had gone out behind Tiger Stadium, found the ball next to a drain pipe, and simply gave the ball to Killebrew free of charge.

We'll have more stories of Harmon Killebrew's legend for you as the day goes on. We hope that you enjoy them.

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On Day of Harmon Killebrew's Death, Twinkie Town Remembers Twins Legend

Harmon Killebrew died Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins announced, ending the MLB Hall of Famer's long and courageous battle with esophageal cancer after entering hospice care over the weekend.

Considering the man was one of the original Minnesota Twins and a person that was said to be even better off the field than his play was on it, it comes as no surprise that there are already tributes up celebrating the life of Hammerin' Harmon.

Over at Twinkie Town, Jesse points out Killebrew's great quote -- "Life is precious and time is a key element. Let's make every moment count and help those who have a greater need than our own" -- and adds a few other words in memory of the former slugger.

For nearly an entire generation of baseball fans, Killebrew was the face of the franchise. Not just during his tenure with the Twins, but even after. As a new generation grew to love Rod Carew and eventually Kirby Puckett, Killebrew was always going to be the original. He dwarfed Carew in stature and Puckett in production. Dave St. Peter made a statement earlier, saying: "No individual has ever meant more to the Minnesota organization and millions of fans across Twins Territory."

The Minnesota Twins website has also set up a tribute page dedicated to 11-time All Star whose No. 3 was retired by the team.

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Harmon Killebrew Passes Away At Age 74

The Minnesota Twins have announced the passing of legendary slugger Harmon Killebrew.

Killebrew, who announced on Friday that he was ending his fight against esophageal cancer, passed away on Tuesday morning at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 74 years old.

Killebrew, who began his career with the Washington Senators in 1954, played 20 of his 21 Major League seasons with the Senators and Twins, who moved from Washington, D.C. to Minnesota prior to the 1961 season. He was the 1969 American League MVP, and was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1984.

As the record books stand today, Killebrew is eleventh on baseball's all-time home run list with 573 blasts.

Killebrew's number three is one of only five numbers that have been retired in Twins history, along with Tony Oliva's #6, Kent Hrbek's #14, Rod Carew's #29, and Kirby Puckett's #34.

We send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Harmon Killebrew.

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