Harmon Killebrew, who spent 21 of his 22 professional seasons with the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins franchise, died today at the age of 74 after battling esophageal cancer. Killebrew announced on Friday that he would no longer receive treatment for the disease, which was deemed incurable by his doctors.
The 13-time All-Star, nicknamed “Killer,” won the 1969 AL MVP Award after hitting 49 HR and driving in 140 runs. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984 (the first Twin to be enshrined), Killebrew led the American League in home runs six times and finished his career with 573 round-trippers, 11th on baseball’s all-time list.
Killebrew’s eight seasons of 40 or more home runs is tied for second most in baseball history. Only Babe Ruth with 11 had more.
Most HR, 1960-69
The Senators moved to Minneapolis prior to the 1961 season. In his first four seasons in Minnesota, Killebrew hit 190 home runs, including 49 in 1964. In all, his 393 home runs in the 1960s is the most of any player in that decade (Hank Aaron was next with 375 HR). His 1,013 RBI in the 1960s was second most, behind only Aaron's 1,107.
As a tribute to Killebrew, the Twins will wear their cream-colored 1961 throwback uniforms for all remaining home games.