Perk and Harmon - Summer 2010
I didn't grow up in Minnesota. I was never exposed to Harmon Killebrew as a player.
Now that I'm here, it has been totally impressive to learn how important he is to this state.
It's why I was a bit apprehensive when I decided to shoot a Perk at Play at one of his autograph signings in St. Paul several years back. How would he react to my clowning?
Together with the organizers of the event, we concocted a plot where I would be holding an autograph session across the room from Harmon, and a rivalry would be initiated by me.
Somewhat intimidated by his Hall of Fame persona, I was quickly melted by his warm demeanor and gentle smile. Would he play along? Of course! And the story, actually turned out to be rather entertaining.
Since that afternoon in St. Paul, I have had more dealings with him, mostly surrounding one of his greatest passions, the Miracle League of Minnesota, which allows kids of all abilities the opprtunity to play baseball. You could see in his eyes how important this league was to him.
Like so many of you in this great state, I get it now. I understand why so many are reeling from his passing.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)