It’s been a sad week for me and a sad week for all baseball fans with the passing of Harmon Clayton Killebrew. Just four days after he decided to stop treatment and end his fight with esophageal cancer, Killebrew died at his home in Scottsdale surrounded by his family on May 17th, 2011 at the age of 74.
Harmon Killebrew’s legacy was not limited to the baseball field. He was one of the most humble, kind and sincere individuals I’ve had the privilege of meeting.
Harmon Killebrew was the kind of role model that everyone needs today. When I say everyone…I mean everyone…not just the 8-year-old playing baseball in his backyard but also teenagers, adults and other pro-athletes. He lived his life to the fullest by treating EVERYONE from Single-A players to famous Major Leaguers to kids and adults in autograph lines with the utmost respect and genuine care.
The modern era of pro-sports is filled with lots of misbehaving, arrogant, overpaid athletes and Killebrew’s life should serve as a reminder that stardom is not a right but a privilege.
When Harmon Killebrew died this week, a sports hero died as well. He was a special man with a special talent but more importantly a special heart that is hard to find these days.
I’ve always thought that we should live our lives based on how we would like people to talk about us after we’re gone. Harmon is proof that it pays off because I have not heard one negative story about him all week. We’ll miss you Harmon and it was an honor to meet you.