Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Harmon Killebrew: 1936-2011

 MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew, whose legacy off the field was as impressive as his accomplishments on it, passed away Tuesday after a battle with esophageal cancer. He was 74.
As you can see from the pictures, Killebrew wasn't the type to swat at the ball and let his top hand fly free. Only Punch and Judy hitters batted that way and no one came to see The Killer dink one into the outfield. 

When the Twins would play the Yankees we'd get to the Stadium as early as possible to see Mantle and Killebrew take batting practice and I can't remember a time we went away disappointed. The deepest part of left center was 465' from the plate and it took one helluva power hitter just to reach the old monuments that were actually in play. Generally speaking, the better the hitter the more he hits the ball straight-away and both Harmon and Mickey would make 460'outs that'd be homers in any other stadium. 

But in batting practice they gave the crowd what it came for and balls would be flying all over the upper deck, bouncing off the old iron support beams and making the old ballpark the world's largest pinball machine.

The great #3. No one then or now hit the ball any harder.

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