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05/17/2011 12:30 PM ET
Twins Legend and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew dies at age 74
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MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, Minn. - It is with great sadness that the Minnesota Twins announce that Twins Legend and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew has died. After battling esophageal cancer, Killebrew passed peacefully under the watch of his beloved wife Nita in their Arizona home.

"This is truly a sad day in the history of the Minnesota Twins organization," said Twins Chief Executive Officer Jim Pohlad. "The Twins will remember Harmon for his many on-field contributions but importantly for the impeccable quality of his character, his great integrity and his compassion for everyone he encountered. The Pohlad family and the Twins organization send our thoughts and prayers to Nita and the rest of the Killebrew family. Harmon will be deeply missed by all."

The 74-year old was one of the greatest home run hitters of all time, and will forever be remembered by Twins fans as the 'Killer' for his prolific clouts. A member of the Twins from their inaugural Minnesota season in 1961, Killebrew hit 573 career home runs, 475 of them in his 14 seasons with the Twins, and ranks 11th on the all-time home run list. He hit over 40 home runs during eight seasons and 30-or-more during 10 seasons while driving in 100-plus runs during nine seasons.

Killebrew was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 1969 when he hit 49 home runs with an amazing 140 RBIs and 145 walks, all team records that still stand. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, the first Twins player to receive that honor after being named to 11 All-Star Games. He had his number 3 formally retired May 4, 1975, was selected to the Twins' 25th Anniversary Team in 1986 and 40th Season Anniversary All-Time Team in 2000. He was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame on August 12, 2000 and named one of the "50 Greatest Twins" in 2010.

Killebrew returned to an official capacity within the Twins organization in 1997 as a Special Assistant. In that role he became a regular participant at TwinsFest, the Twins Winter Caravan and other major community-oriented events. Since 2006, Killebrew has served as an on-field instructor at the team's spring training in Fort Myers, FL.

In the community, Harmon and Nita Killebrew founded the Killebrew Foundation which helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for many charitable organizations across the country. Among those local organizations benefitting from the Killebrew Foundation was the Minnesota Twins Community Fund and Miracle Leagues of Minnesota.

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