In more recent years, you read of athletes who make headlines because of their off field issues. Or you will sometimes see the athlete get run out of town because of their poor attitude on the field. And now you have the athletes (i.e. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), who's career is long over, and is making headlines because they feel mistreated by their former team. It has been a rarity to find a professional athlete, who can hold himself to high standards both on and off the field.
My point to this is this: How lucky were we to have had Harmon Killebrew. Harmon held himself to the utmost of highest standards both on the field and off. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He almost certainly enjoyed meeting all the fans he had. He would never turn down a autograph request. And, going back to the Kareem story, if Harmon had ever felt mistreated, I'm sure he would of settled it in person, rather than use the media to voice his concerns.
Harmon always took the positive in everything. If the team was in a slump, he had something positive to say. And even in his final days, he issued a statement as he entered hospice, and he still found a positive in that. It was the fact, he would be surrounded by his family and friends as he spent his final days here. Even those who saw him said he was still himself, despite the amount of pain he was in.
Harmon Killebrew was truly one of a kind. Perhaps the most classiest of all the baseball players to ever play the game. From his home run to swing to his infamous signature, there was no bad quality in Harmon Killebrew. And I truly hope that others follow in his footsteps. The saying goes: You never truly appreciate something, until its gone. But I think its a safe bet, that everyone truly appreciated Harmon while he was here. He was a model athlete in a time when athletes are making headlines for the wrong reasons. I surely appreciated him. And I hope you did too. RIP Mr. Killebrew. Twins Territory, and the entire baseball world was a better place because of you.