Harmon Killebrew

Harmon Clayton Killebrew
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1984
Primary team: Minnesota Twins
Primary position: 1st Baseman

Harmon Killebrew was one of the most feared sluggers of the 1960s and when he retired in 1975, he had accumulated more home runs than any right-handed batter in American League history. Said former Washington Senators player, manager and coach Ossie Bluege "He hit line drives that put the opposition in jeopardy. And I don't mean infielders, I mean outfielders."

It was on the high school ball fields of the small mid-western town of Payette Idaho, where Hammerin’ Harmon was discovered by the Senators in 1954. The 17-year-old slugger signed on with the club for a relatively large bonus and the rules of the day dictated that they had to keep the youngster on the Major League roster for two years, or risk losing him to another team.

In 1959, at age 23, Killebrew had a breakout year at the hot corner hitting 42 home runs with 105 RBI. Orioles manager Paul Richards marveled at his immense power and prestigious blasts, “Killebrew can knock the ball out of any park, including Yellowstone".

It was the nature of his tape measure home runs combined with the first five letters of his last name that the nickname “Killer” was born. Longtime Senators and Twins owner Calvin Griffith remarked “He hit home runs like few people can in the category of height and distance… Harmon didn’t hit many line drive home runs. He would hit the ball so blooming high in the sky, they were like a rocket ship going up in the air”, and teammate Bob Allison explained “Harmon has that graceful, fast swing, he swings up at the ball just a little bit and hits those high homers”. Over the course of his 22- year big league career “Killer” put together eight 40 home run seasons and 44 multiple home run games.

Although he was known as “Killer” at the plate, Harmon Killebrew was a gentle and quiet man off the field. When asked what he liked to do for fun, he once replied "Well, I like to wash dishes, I guess." Former Twins Public Relations Director Tom Mee once said of Harmon “He is one of the finest individuals in the major leagues… to know Harmon Killebrew is to be a Killebrew fan”, and his old Twins teammate Rich Reese called him “One of the classiest people I've ever met in my life” further stating “he treated people with respect, even with the stature he had."

"He was the meal ticket for our franchise for all those years in Washington and Minnesota. "
Calvin Griffith

Career stats

Year Inducted: 1984
Primary Team: Minnesota Twins
Position Played: 1st Baseman
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Payette, Idaho
Birth year: 1936
Died: 2011, Scottsdale, Arizona
Played for:
Washington Senators (1954-1960)
Minnesota Twins (1961-1974)
Kansas City Royals (1975)
At BatsAB
Home RunsHR
Stolen BasesSB
Batting AverageBA
On Base %OBP
Slugging %SLG