MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Hall of Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew has been going through chemotherapy for his esophageal cancer for about three weeks, a daunting regimen that he said has been aided “by the outpouring of support and prayers” he has received.

Killebrew issued a statement through the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, saying his doctors remain hopeful he will make a full recovery.

“My wife Nita and I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and prayers we have received while I am undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer,” Killebrew said. “My chemotherapy is ongoing and the team of medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic is hopeful for my full recovery.”

Killebrew announced his diagnosis in December and is receiving treatment in Arizona.

“It has been a tough battle but Nita and I have found comfort in the love and encouragement from our family and friends,” Killebrew said. “We still have a long road ahead of us and we ask for your continued prayers.”

All the support shouldn’t come as a surprise for Killebrew, one of the most beloved players in Twins history. He remains a favorite to this day and is well known for his congenial nature and willingness to sign autographs and spend time with fans at spring training and when the team is home in Minnesota.

He 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.

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Comments (10)
  1. Brian Nerheim says:

    Mayo Clinic is the best. I got my Kidney there. No problems. It may be #2 in the Nation, but it’s #1 to Me! Good choice Mr. Killebrew. Heal well.

  2. red says:

    Best wishes to you Harmon

  3. Tim says:

    Please take good care of yourself you are to some a local hero and ambassador to alll that is good to baseball and we really need you now in the world

  4. Paula says:

    I hope you get well soon! You are a class act!!

  5. Pete J says:

    God Bless Killer! Keep up the fight!

  6. mary jo comstock says:

    you and me harmo at the twins game this summer sometime………..your just as cute now as you were in the sixteys…..hell this is a piece of cake compaired to some of the things you’ve been through……love and prayers to you and your family……later killer…m.j…..stop by the excel at the end of the month…..i’ll be shooting some stick from the 28 through 31[thrusday thru sunday]……….minnesota state pool tournament….2011….come on down…….m.j comstock!!!!

  7. Jeff says:

    God bless you and best wishes to you. Thanks for signing your autograph for me while we were at the airport waiting for our flights. You were always my hero. As we lived 75 miles west of the cities we werent able to come to the old met in those days. We were able to watch Harmon and the Twins on TV when it came in. Thanks for being Mr. Baseball for Minnesota.

  8. jkn says:

    May God bless and heal you. You always have been, and continue to be a “class person”. Baseball and the world needs more people like you, and we hope and expect to see you again at Target Field when you are completely healed. May God give you strength through this ordeal. Will be praying for you.

  9. Maitake Bruce says:

    Hi there. My wife also has lymph cancer is her esophagus. It makes it almost impossible to get food down. She has taken a breakthrough treamtent in Osaka, Japan at IGT gate tower clinic. It is microcatheter surgery and they go up your vessels and deliver a payload of chemo directly to the tumor and then block off blood flow to the tumor. Very little side effect and very effective!
    Hope this info helps anyone.