Harmon Killebrew enters hospice after brutal fight w/ cancer

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Harmon Killebrew enters hospice after brutal fight w/ cancer

Postby welch » Sun May 15, 2011 7:46 am

Harmon Killebrew, my favorite Washington athlete and probably CT's favorite also, has announced that he has decided to seek no further treatment for cancer and has entered a hospice.

Harmon did not play for the Redskins, but if you were a kid in the '50s, he was a hero so big that he stood above baseball and football.

One of the kindest, most humble people you could find, I saw him at an autographing and general purpose "look at him" appearance at PG Plaza in 1959. Harmon stood there, all muscle in his ban-lon shirt and cream-colored sports coat, appearing as if he was amazed that all of us thought he was a hero.

Which he was. All it took was a day at Griffith Stadium, and the sound of Harmon Killebrew hitting a cannon-blast high up the bleachers in left, and then we knew that we were lucky enough to see a guy who would become a Hall of Famer. Killebrew hit no accidental HRs, no wind-carried pop-flies, no cheapies into the short-stands of modern HR-friendly ball-parks. Every time he hit the ball solidly it was a drive.

This should be moved to some other place, but most people pass through WR Football, and everyone should stop and realize that we had an awesome and quietly bashful all-time power hitter from '54 - 1960. Our very own.

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Postby Countertrey » Sun May 15, 2011 2:21 pm

Damn... Best wishes! Heaven's team as a tremendous rookie coming it's way.

I remember thinking of him as a big ol' bear. Great man... the kind of person who SHOULD be held as a model for kids...
"That's a clown question, bro"
- - - - - - - - - - Bryce Harper, DC Statesman
"But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn't, didn't already have"
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Postby welch » Wed May 18, 2011 7:45 pm

A double-post from a Nats website, but:

Long and emotional tribute from the Mets broadcasters to Harmon Killebrew just now. Movie clips of Killer hitting, Keith Hernandez saying, "look at those forearms!". Darling remoinds the audience that Killebrew is 2nd only to Babe Ruth for HR in the AL, and that from 1959 to 1972 Killebrew hit more HR than anybody...more than Mays, Aaron, or Robinson. Which makes sense, because Killebrew was the HR champ, while the other three were really fine hitters with some power. Aaron would hit almost every pitch perfectly; Killebrew could (and did) hit the ball 550 feet.

A Mets/Pirates note: early on, when Harmon was about 19 and despondent, Ralph Kiner suggested that he get on top of the plate. "With your power, no one will throw on by you, and you'll cover the whole plate".

Nats are one one down, but I'm thinking about Harmon Killebrew tonight.

An offhand comment from Bob Wolff, P 76 of his "It's Not Who Won". Story of Wolff and Killebrew visiting a "father-son" softball game at the Landon School in Montgomery County. A father had called Wolff to ask if he would be the public address announcer and give the game a major league feel. Bob said, sure, and then remembered that he would see Harmon just before the game. Asked if Harmon Killebrew could come along. "(Younger readers should understand that, in those days,players and broadcasters would participate in events such as these because they enjoyed doing so, and because of the pleasure it brought to others, particularly youngsters. There were no fees, no agents involved, it was just good will".)

And the story is also a Killer!

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