Harmon Killebrew To Enter Hospice Care

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Minnesota Twins legend Harmon Killebrew says his “battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end” and he is going to enter hospice care.

The former Twins player had earlier been diagnosed with esophageal cancer last December.

The Minnesota Twins released a statement on Friday from the 74-year-old Killebrew in which he said, “I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease.  My illness has progressed beyond my doctors’ expectation of cure.”

“I am comforted by the fact that I am surrounded by my family and friends,” he said, thanking fans and well-wishers for their support and encouragement. “I look forward to spending my final days in comfort and peace with (wife) Nita by my side.”

Killebrew hit 573 home runs and made 11 All-Star appearances during his 22-year career spent mostly with the Washington Senators and Twins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984 and was fifth on the career home run list when he retired in 1975 after one season with the Kansas City Royals.

Killebrew currently ranks 11th on the all-time homer list, and his eight seasons with 40 or more homers still is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth.

Killebrew was able to travel to Fort Myers, Fla., for his annual stint as a guest instructor at spring training. He was in good spirits, quipping that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire gave him the OK to show up a little late.

Twins President Dave St. Peter said that “[Harmon’s] amazingly upbeat and those who know Harmon probably wouldn’t be surprised by that.”

WCCO’s Chad and Sid Hartman Interview Dave St. Peter

Click here to read Esme Murphy’s blog on Harmon Killebrew

Click here for a photo gallery of Harmon Killebrew

To share your thoughts on the official guest book, check out the Official Twins Fan Guestbook.

Watch Mike Max’s sports report on Harmon Killebrew from WCCO-TV 4 News at 6

More from Mike Max
  • JaneR

    Class act, our prayers are with you and your family!

    • Brian C

      Harmon provided many special memories in my life. I will always remember that great swing. As they said, “He looked good striking out”. We will miss you as a person Harmon. You have given so much to so many.

  • Shannon

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Killer and his family during this time.

  • Annie

    Very sad news – say I prayer for Harmon

  • Bill

    Our prayers are with you and your family Harmon. God speed!

  • Marcia

    You will always be my hero. May God help you on your journey. We will miss you but we have our memories.

  • Lynette

    My heart goes out to Killer, his family, friends and the Twins organization. You are in my prayers.

  • Cheryl

    Harmon you are the best! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • hoover

    This is so sad…you are the best!! Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  • Sue

    Harmon I am so sorry, you are still my favorite twin and always will be. You are in my thoughts and prayes, yes now family and friends are key to your final days.


  • Beth

    Our thoughts and prayers are with a great man, player, husband and friend to all that know Harmon. My our lives be forever blessed by such a wonderful person. We Love you Harmon.

  • JLD

    You have fought the good fight and deserve your final days to be peaceful; I wish you’re family that same peace and I will pray for all of you.

  • Tom

    A-1 class guy. He will be missed.

  • Steve

    Harmon was every boy’s hero and we worshipped him when I was growing up in Minnesota. After retiring, he set the bar for community involvement. He never says a negative word about anyone. Harmon iis not just a superstar, he’s s truly great man!

  • Sue

    Harmon how sad, you are still my favorite twin!! Be wih you famiy and friends now during this tough time!!


  • Tom

    Say it ain’t so. Please! Say it ain’t so.

  • Craig

    In tears now!
    What a sad day for us old Twins fans from the 60’s & 70’s
    I still to this day think he is and was the GREATEST player and best guy they ever had in the organization bar none!

    Prayers go out to the Killer and family.

    There should be a Killebrew year not just a day!

  • Howie B

    Harmon – You were the face of the Twins for all the years you played here. You always were and continue to be a class act. Every professional athlete should model their behavior on and off the field by the examples you have set. My thoughts, prayers and thanks go to you and your family.

  • SandyH

    I will always remember watching the Twins as a little girl because of Harmon. Thank you for those memories, Harmon. You and my late husband can teach the little ones in heaven how to swing the bat and run bases. Bless you!

  • Charlie Boone

    Charlie Boone

    Harmon has always seemed like family. We are shocked and
    saddened. May he find peace and comfort in all the affection from
    fans everywhere for the great memories and his fine example.

  • Debby

    Thank you Harmon for all the pleasure you brought many people during your days as a Twins player. We all hope this final time for you will be painless and you get to spend this time with family and friends.

  • Sammi Olinger

    So sad. my eyes are welling with tears. Bless you harmon.

  • Darcie

    Harmon you are the classiest act to every play ball for the MN Twins Organization. He are a hero to so many and will be so dearly missed but forever fondly remembered be all. God Bless.

  • Jim M

    Harmon you were a great player! You always gave it your all, without the help of the steroids so many younger players unfortunately resort to! That was your true ability, not ability in a shot of something!

  • God bless Killer!

    What a kind, brave, and compassionate person. God bless you, Harmon! We will remember you always. I look forward to watching you play ball again again. And hey, it’s heaven, so maybe I’ll even be able to play ball with you! I’d like that :-)

  • v

    Godspeed Harmon.
    Bask in peace knowing you brought so much joy and excitement to all.
    Heaven now has two cleanup hitters and they’ll share #3.

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