Reporting Bill Hudson
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – Today is officially “Harmon Killebrew Day” in Minnesota as the state honors the baseball Hall of Famer who died last week.
Some of Killebrew’s former teammates met first at the Mall of America, where Metropolitan Stadium used to stand. While there they took a photograph at the home plate Killebrew made so famous.
From the Mall of America, they rode a specially-marked light rail train to the Metrodome where more former Twins, who played at the Dome, boarded.
On Target Field Plaza, where Killebrew’s statue stands adorned with flowers and tributes, is displayed his piece of baseball immortality — Killebrew’s bronze plaque from Cooperstown.
“This is a great honor for us to pay tribute to him today and also for fans to see this treasure on display from the home of baseball,” said Brad Horn with the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The very spot where Killebrew built his legend, hammering out so many homers, his name lives on. Inside the Mall of America, up on the wall, is the famous seat where he parked his longest homerun — a 520-foot shot.
The memorial started at 5:40 p.m. where family and former Twins teammates gathered at what was Met Stadiums home plate. Then they boarded a Hiawatha light rail car adorned with Killebrew’s number and autograph that brought the guests to Target Field.
That’s where Twins spokesman Kevin Smith promises a memorable night.
“We hope this ceremony lives up to the man Harmon was,” he said. “From a handshake to an autograph, or a photo, a brief meeting or long term friendship. This night will mean something different to everyone really because Harmon touched so many people in so many different ways.”