By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fans are reacting to news that Twins legend Harmon Killebrew announced Friday he will enter hospice care.

Killebrew, 74, was diagnosed last December with esophageal cancer. He said in a statement Friday that he has exercised every option to try and treat the cancer, but is in his “final days.”

Before there was Joe Mauer or Justin Morneau, Harmon Killibrew made a name for himself as a Minnesota Twin.

“For people of my generation, Harmon was Kirby Pucket before Kirby Pucket was around,” said Reid Olson, a Killebrew fan.

Killebrew earned his spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but his work off the diamond may have the biggest impact on younger generations.

“He saw our cause, with giving every kid an opportunity to play baseball, as something he thought was right,” said Kevin Thoresen of the Miracle League of Minnestoa.

Through the Harmon Killebrew Foundation, Killebrew has helped build ball fields for kids who otherwise couldn’t play.

Thoresen, the director of the Miracle League of Minnesota, has come to know Killebrew as not only a baseball great, but a great man.

“He is the best example of someone who follows the golden rule better than anyone I’ve ever met,” said Thoresen.

Decades after he last played ball, Killebrew still has the same appeal of any player you see today.

“My regret being a Harmon fan and Twins fan was never being around to see him play,” said Olson.

While many fans are sad to hear Killebrew’s cancer has progressed, some hope he, even in failing health, will once again lead the Twins to victory.

“Maybe they can get some emotion on it and get on a roll, I hope,” said Bryan Flach, a Twins fan.

Killibrew’s foundation has helped many other organizations as well, including the Gillette Children’s Specialty hospital in St. Paul.

Comments (13)
  1. david erickson says:

    thanks KILLER

  2. Susan Welch says:

    Met Harmon at Twins Fest some years ago. What a genuine polite person , Prayers are with you and God Bless!

  3. Dave says:


  4. John h stpaul says:

    Thanks killer you will be missed and my prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family.

  5. Rosemary DePauw Brown says:

    You have been a great inspiration and example for everyone to follow. My son Ed has a great signed picture of you and a signed baseball glove. Our whole family loves you and offers prayers for you.
    Rosemary DePauw-Brown

  6. K harth says:

    Even though I never knew you , I wish you all the best and May peace be there for you,and your family.Thanks for all The great mermories,and the game of baseball.

  7. Jim Stachowski says:

    A true Gentleman and a class act in every way. I thank you for a lot of great memories and for setting an example for others.

  8. Very sad day says:

    I first met Harmon in 1965 as a wide eyed 11 year old. Kind words – soft and warm voice speaking to me as if I was his son.
    Since that day I have admired him – over the year we met a few more times and I always wanted to say to him he changed my life in several ways. I never did,

    Harmon – God Bless and may you be as peaceful and pain free as possible. You symbolize class, graciousness,warmth,humbleness and kindness. You are truly one of a kind.

  9. Bill says:

    Thank you Mr. Killebrew. While professional sports is just a game, you were more than just a professional athletic. You were the best. Not just on the field but as a person. Someone that a sports fan could admire. Everything from your stellar fielding to your mammoth home runs to your incredibility legible autograph, you were, and for me will always be the best of baseball. No, the best of anyone who put on a uniform of any sport, and entertained us.

  10. Nancy says:

    You were my dad’s favorite from the day the Twins began. Your playing made you a sports hero, but you became much more. We will remember you for all you did for children and our community. May you find peace. You are in our prayers.

  11. Mary says:

    I’ll always be a fan of Harmon. Such grace and dignity as a ballplayer or someone fighting cancer serves as a lesson to us all. Thanks, Harmon.

  12. Rhys Becker says:

    Harmon was one of many heroes on and off the field. His friendly demeanor and a true gentle is total awesome. I did get to see Harmon play baseball at the old met Stadium. It was always a treat watching Harmon play baseball it gave me great memories thank you Harmon you will be missed.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.