Wednesday, May 18, 2011

RIP - Harmon Killebrew

Harmon Killebrew passed away yesterday, from cancer at age 74. Killebrew was the first great star for the Minnesota Twins. I never saw him play in person, but I remember him as one of the top sluggers of the mid-to-late 1960s. Here are all of my Harmon Killebrew cards:

At a time when Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were fading, Killebrew, along with Willie McCovey, Hank Aaron, and Frank Howard seemed to always be at the top of the home run leaders every year.

Tonight, I decided to see how accurate my recollections were. Below are all the top home run hitters I can remember from the 1960s. This may not be a complete list, but I think I included all the big names. I gathered these numbers from each player's baseball-reference page.

Fittingly, Killebrew came out on top. (I suppose I could have looked that up somewhere, but this exercise was fun.)

By all accounts, Killebrew was as great a person as he was a player. He will be greatly missed, not only by Twins fans, but by all who remember that era fondly.

Rest in peace, Killer!


Jim from Downingtown said...

Prior to 1967, the only baseball players I was aware of were Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra (all from Yoo-Hoo commercials and other TV appearances), Johnny Callison (from kids talking about him on the playground), and Harmon Killebrew.

How did Killebrew get into that small mix for a kid from Pennsylvania? Every summer, our neighbor's grandchildren came from Minnesota to visit them. Of course Harmon Killebrew was their favorite player, and they made sure I knew it. (I may have also seen him on the back of a cereal or Jell-o box n the early '60s !)

Erik said...

Killer had some monster numbers in the 1960's against some great pitching. It seemed back then every staff had at least one ace if not two good starters.

Killerbrew may have not hit .300 but he sure flirted with 50 home runs a few times.