Harmon Killebrew

  • Sometimes politicians do make the right call. In the early 1950s, a U.S. Senator from Idaho tipped off the owner of the Washington Senators about a farm boy from his state who could really pound a baseball. Harmon Killebrew, who died on May 17 at 74, hit 42 home runs in his first full season and went on to hit 573, many of them moon shots, over a 22-year career. When the team moved to Minnesota in 1961 and was renamed the Twins, Killebrew embodied the franchise. His gentle temperament was a perfect match for the upper Midwest though a mismatch for his nickname: Killer. Off the field, he raised money for the Miracle League, a group that gives disabled kids a chance to play baseball. "He was a Hall of Famer," says former teammate Rod Carew, "in every sense of the word."