Harmon Killebrew Diagnosed With Esophageal Cancer

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Harmon Killebrew Diagnosed With Esophageal Cancer

Harmon Killebrew, MLB Hall of Famer and longtime Twins legend, has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He made the announcement in a statement on Thursday.

Killebrew is currently under the care of a team of medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic. While he is well aware of how serious his situation is, he's also optimistic in his future, saying, "I anticipate a full recovery."

"The Mayo Clinic is one of the largest and most experienced medical centers treating esophageal cancer in the world," Killebrew said. "In the past decade, they have made tremendous advances in the treatment of this disease."

Killebrew played 22 seasons in the pros, 15 with the Minnesota Twins (he spent the first six years with the Washington Senators and ended his career with the Kansas City Royals). He was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, nine years after he retired. He was an 11-time MLB All-Star and was voted the American League MVP in 1969.

One of the most feared power hitters of his generation, Killebrew finished his career with 573 home runs (11th all-time) and a line of .256/.376/.509 (and an OPS+ of 143). He was perhaps best known for his "tape measure" home runs, some of which included the first ball hit over the left field roof at Tiger Stadium, a 471-foot shot at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium and a 520-foot bomb at Metropolitan Stadium, the longest homer in Twins' history. 

 The Twins released a statement on Thursday: 

"Harmon Killebrew is a great man," the Twins said in a statement on Thursday morning. "The collective heart of the Twins family goes out to him and Nita as they begin the battle against this cancer. Harmon is universally loved, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and Nita throughout this ordeal. We ask that everyone send prayers Harmon's way as he begins the road to recovery."

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