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View Full Version : Likable guys, such as Harmon Killebrew


eastchicagosoxfan
02-05-2005, 11:37 AM
I saw that Harmon Killebrew made a list of despised players, so I figured I'd start a new thread. Killebrew retired when I was young ( under 10 ) so I never saw him play. However, I felt I'd pass along this story about the guy. And I realize that we fans despise plenty of players, and I'm sure most of the guys on the despised lists can be humanized. But here's a Harmon Killebrew story. It comes second hand, via my brother, Tom.
Back 10 years ago or so, Tom and his wife were in Tokyo, at the airport, waiting in line at customs. Tom and the elderly gentleman in front of him struck up a conversation, and the older guy complimented my brother and his wife on their profession ( teachers ) and other aspects, etc., basically saying that he was a fine young man. My brother introduced himself, and then the older gentleman replied that his name was Harmon Killebrew. My brother blurted out, " Harmon Killebrew, 572 homeruns! ". Harmon replied, " Actually it was 573, but how did you know? " Tom then related a story about baseball cards, and stat games, and so on. Killebrew then introduced the rest of his party. It was a veritable who's who of Hall of Famers, including, Mays, Ford, Snider, McCovey and others ( I don't recall all the names, but they were touring Japan as a Hall of Fame delegation ). Harmon gave Tom an autographed ball, with 573 homeruns written on it. A really nice story, about a guy that certainly demonstrated class.

flo-B-flo
02-05-2005, 07:40 PM
Powerful, long ball threat. I vaguely remember being at ol' Sox park and watching him hit his 400th (?). I think........... The twins were a great team at that time. Hard on the Sox.

RKMeibalane
02-05-2005, 08:37 PM
Killebrew is credited as being the man responsible for the hardest ball ever hit. He was playing at Tiger Stadium when he absolutely destroyed a fastball over the middle of the plate. The home run traveled on a line until it hit the facade of the second deck in left field. The ball caroomed off the deck and hit the ground in the middle of the outfield before bouncing the rest of the way to where the second base bag was.

NowBatting19
02-05-2005, 09:18 PM
A couple years ago he worked a bit with my aunt for a fund raiser at the hospital she works at in Salt Lake City. She said he was very nice and took time to speak with everyone and the event turned out great. She got my cousins and I each an autographed ball and signed picture of him. Funny enough, I swear I'm the one in the picture. It's a younger picture of him with the Twins and it's a spitting image, my aunt said she did a double take. Weird wild stuff. Even though I'm not old enough to have ever seen him play, I'll take my aunt's word for it that at least these days he's quite approachable and generous.

idseer
02-05-2005, 09:33 PM
i also have an image of harmon etched into my permanent memory.
it was a simple thing but i remember being amazed. he was playing first base and on a throw from either the ss or 3rd base he stretched out to what seemed like absolutely flat to the ground doing a perfect split to take the throw. i never saw a player stretch like that before .... especially a big man like killebrew.

Lip Man 1
02-05-2005, 11:25 PM
In J.C. Martin's WSI Interview he has a really funny story about Harmon and the Sox 'frozen baseball's...'

Lip

BigEdWalsh
02-06-2005, 12:26 AM
i also have an image of harmon etched into my permanent memory.
it was a simple thing but i remember being amazed. he was playing first base and on a throw from either the ss or 3rd base he stretched out to what seemed like absolutely flat to the ground doing a perfect split to take the throw. i never saw a player stretch like that before .... especially a big man like killebrew.

Killebrew wasn't exactly a big man, not in height anyway. He was 5'11''. :smile:

I'm the one who in the other thread said that I hated Killebrew. Maybe he was a nice guy, but it was out of anger that I hated him. Jealousy perhaps. While back in those days if the Sox had someone who could hit 20 homers that was something. For the longest time, the Sox all-time homer single season record was 29, and you had to watch damn Killebrew hitting 40 every year. :rolleyes:

eastchicagosoxfan
02-06-2005, 03:05 PM
Killebrew wasn't exactly a big man, not in height anyway. He was 5'11''. :smile:

I'm the one who in the other thread said that I hated Killebrew. Maybe he was a nice guy, but it was out of anger that I hated him. Jealousy perhaps. While back in those days if the Sox had someone who could hit 20 homers that was something. For the longest time, the Sox all-time homer single season record was 29, and you had to watch damn Killebrew hitting 40 every year. :rolleyes:
It's quite alright to hate these guys when they play. I put Rick Dempsey in my list, and for all I know he drives old women to church every Sunday. But man, did I despise him when the Sox played the Orioles. He killed us.

Homer J Simpson
02-07-2005, 12:44 PM
Gary Gaietti (sp). I saw him hit the cycle one night, and single handedly spanked us. And all of us Sox fans cheered! You could read the look in Gary's face, it was a mixture of stunned, jubulent, and disbelief on the face of a Twin. I bet that was the best night of his life, and we were happy for him. A friend of mine met him, and says he a A1 guy.


Jim Katt was cool. I was 12 and sat in the room during an interview with Jack Brickhouse. Jim took his spikes off before walking on the carpet. Class act.

I met Harry 4 times, and he was....Harry!

Phil Mickleson, Horace Grant, and Bart Starr are nice people, One day at the Hilton & Towers magazine stand, I couldn't reach my favorite magazine, and asked the fellow next to me to please hand it down. It's cool when you can get the Bull's center to reach for things. I winked. He smiled. I think Horace liked it that I didn't make a fuss.

I did some work with the Buck's Glenn Robinson. His Mom was gracious.