May 17 was a very sad day for all Minnesota Twins fans and baseball fans in general. Twins icon Harmon “Killer” Killebrew died at the age of 74 following a five-month battle with esophegeal cancer. On May 20, there was a funeral service for Killebrew in Peoria, Arizona, where he lived after retiring from baseball. Many people were in attendance, including family of Killebrew and former and current Twins.
During the service, there were several speakers who talked about Killebrew and his wonderful personality, including former Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven. Blyleven, a teammate of Killebrew, had one of the most memorable lines of the service. When he was talking about how radio announcer John Gordon says “Touch ’em all!” whenever the Twins hit a home run (Harmon hit 573!), Blyleven said, “Harmon touched US all.” I thought that was a great way to describe Harmon and connect his professional career with his delightful personality.
At the end of the service, there was a pleasant surprise. In a slideshow celebrating Killebrew’s life, there was a picture shown of Michael talking to Killebrew and teammate Frank Quilici at Harmon’s dinner on May 23, 2010! The next picture shown was of Michael and I at the dinner with Killebrew, Quilici, and fellow teammate Dick Stigman. “Two Men On” is so famous now that it’s on TV! To see the slideshow, click here.
Being able to watch the funeral on TV was really nice. Of course, the highlight for me was the slideshow, but the rest of the service was nice too. It is a lucky coincidence that the Twins are in Arizona for the weekend and got to attend the funeral. There will be a public memorial service for Harmon on May 26 at 7:00 P.M. at Target Field. Baseball fans, we shall remember “Killer” forever!
Written by: Sam Graves