MINNEAPOLIS -- Reactions began pouring in the moment word came from Scottsdale, Arizona Tuesday morning, that Baseball Hall-of-Famer and Twins legend Harmon Killebrew had died after a short, intense battle with esophageal cancer.
Listed below are reflections from those who knew, respected and loved the man.
"No individual has ever meant more to the Minnesota Twins organization and millions of fans across Twins Territory than Harmon Killebrew. Harmon will long be remembered as one of the most prolific home run hitters in the history of the game and the leader of a group of players who helped lay the foundation for the long-term success of the Twins franchise and Major League Baseball in the Upper Midwest. However, more importantly Harmon's legacy will be the class, dignity and humility he demonstrated each and every day as a Hall of Fame-quality husband, father, friend, teammate and man. The Twins extend heartfelt sympathies and prayers to the Killebrew family at this difficult time."
Dave St. Peter, Twins president
"He cared more about others than he cared about himself, and any time a man can accomplish that and truly feel that way... you're doing things right. He is the epitome of class, theepitome of professionalism... he's what you strive to be as a human being."
Michael Cuddyer, Twins veteran
"When I learned the news about Harmon today, I felt like I lost a family member. He has treated me like one of his own. It's hard to put into words what Harmon has meant to me. He first welcomed me into the Twins family as an 18-year-old kid and has continued to influence my life in many ways. He is someone I will never forget and will always treasure the time we spent together. Harmon will be missed but never forgotten."
Joe Mauer, Twins catcher
"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."
Rod Carew, Twins legend
"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."
Jeff Idelson, president, Baseball Hall of Fame
"Harmon Killebrew was a hero to all Minnesota Twins fans. He always comported himself with dignity. He was a great baseball player and a civic-minded man who lived an exemplary life. He will be missed."
Mark Dayton, Minnesota Governor
"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."
Jane Forbes Clark, chairman, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)