Harmon Killebrew died today. He died much too soon. He was the premier slugger of my tweens. He came close to hitting 50 home runs in a season several times. When Killebrew launched the ball, he launched it: so-called tape-measure shots. He never played on a World Series winner. I remember some magazine article quoting a player or executive dismissing Killebrew for “throwing like a girl.” How ridiculous . . . . Killebrew was a gentleman’s gentleman, with a career somewhat reminiscent of Ralph Kiner’s. (Kiner, of course, was more the glamour-puss legend: he dated Elizabeth Taylor when the Movie Queen was quite young.) The lifetime home-run percentage of Killebrew, who had a longer career, and Kiner, are quite close, and for many years not distant from Babe Ruth’s (no longer first). Farewell, Harmon Killebrew, pride of the Minnesota Twins.
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