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Baseball Legend Harmon Killebrew Remembered

Johnny Lathrop with Legendary Harmon Killebrew
Johnny Lathrop

Editor’s Note: Our station’s General Manager wrote this post commemorating legendary baseball player Harmon Killebrew, who died of cancer today at the age of 74.

Hall of Fame Baseball player Harmon Killebrew died today at the age of 74 of cancer. Killebrew is one of the elite players in major league baseball to belong to the 500 home run club. In my opinion, he was one of the last greats and underrated players of my time.  (More after the jump)

Harmon Killebrew During Batting Practice For Senators
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Killebrew began his career in 1954 and closed his career with the Kansas City Royals in 1975-where my connection with the “Killer” began. Harmon Killebrew will always be remembered as a Minnesota Twin — most of my baseball cards are of Mr. Killebrew as a Twin.

I remember him quietly hitting home runs and a gentleman on the field — a role model for young men.  His passion for the game of baseball shone — he wasn’t about the flash or spot light — it was simple — he played for the love of the game not the glory.

My fondest memory was being able to see him play in person at Royals stadium during his final year in the majors during the 1975 season — George Bret’s rookie season with the Royals. I was 8 years old and remember it being so unusual seeing him in a Royals jersey. Most players in those days played their entire career with one team. I was thrilled to see a living legend play. I remember being in awe of the mighty Killer.

During his final season he managed to hit a few more home runs and after a 20 year career in the show managed to play over half the season!

I met Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew in 2005. Even though I was grown-up with a son of my own, I felt like that shy young boy back in 1975 when I first witnessed his remarkable talent.   I, Johnny Lathrop was meeting one of my heroes for the first time — I was pleased that he was polite as he signed a baseball for both of us.  To me this was a home run — a dream come true.

A real gentleman Harmon Killebrew — one of the greats in my book and the major league books too!

Thanks for the memories — RIP — Killer!

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