Harmon Killebrew, the former slugger for the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December of last year. On Friday, he released a statement indicating that his battle is coming to an end, and that he is entering hospice care for his final days. From the Twins' official site:
It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end. With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors' expectation of cure.
The 74-year-old Killebrew is an 11-time All Star, and the AL MVP winner in 1969. The Hall-of-Famer currently ranks 11th on the all-time home run list with 573. And though he was one of baseball's brightest stars, he also might have one of the quietest. When asked by a reporter for a 1963 Sports Illustrated article what his hobbies were, he thought for a while before responding:
"Just washing the dishes, I guess," says Harmon, trying to help.
Killebrew, who played the outfield, first, and third over his career, is known for not only his home runs, but his long home runs, which he generated from a stocky 5'11" frame. Target Field commemorates a 1967 home run with a statue that is 520 feet from home plate, the distance the home run was estimated to travel.