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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.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.