Departing with Dignity

Can you imagine what it takes to release a statement like this?

“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.

I have spent the past decade of my life promoting hospice care and educating people on its benefits. I am very comfortable taking this next step and experiencing the compassionate care that hospice provides.

I am comforted by the fact that I am surrounded by my family and friends. I thank you for the outpouring of concern, prayers and encouragement that you have shown me. I look forward to spending my final days in comfort and peace with Nita by my side.”

That statement was released Friday by baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.  Red Sox fans will always remember “Killer” as a most formidable opponent, especially in 1967, the year of the Impossible Dream.

The Twins were the only team that could keep the Sox from winning the AL pennant that year.  They didn’t.

Killebrew was the only player who could keep Carl Yastrzemski from winning the triple crown.  He didn’t, though he did tie Yaz for the home run crown with 44.

Killebrew was power personified at the plate, a sawed-off Paul Bunyan swinging a Louisville Slugger instead of an axe.  He struck fear into the hearts of Boston fans, who admired him then.

And now we admire him more.


About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Living in the Past, News, People, Sports and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Departing with Dignity

  1. Li'l Em-Kel says:

    A true pure power hitter. Five-hundred-seventy-three homers. If he played in New York, he’d be one of the immortals.

    Go easy, big man.

  2. SharBeth says:

    I am so sorry to hear the sad news. I remember watching him play ball. I even have one or two of his Topps Baseball Cards. I hope that he won’t be in anymore pain and go in peace.

  3. Cat says:

    Mr Killebrew will always be a gentleman.
    I know for all of us who work Hospice,we appreciate all he has done for us.
    Now it is our turn to offer him our very best “Comfort & Peace”.
    We thank you, Mr. Killebrew……………………….

  4. Will says:

    I have a distant childhood memory of that 1967 season. It was a big deal in New England and I was caught up in it all even though a young child. And I remember the adults being somewhat in awe of his at the plate ability. I think I remember reading once that he did not smoke or drink. I wonder if he chewed tobacco in his playing days? Maybe his cancer was just one of those things. Ironic that this great man brings attention to this terrible form of cancer in the same week as that Phillip Morris CEO made his claim that smoking is easy to quit.

  5. Gerry says:

    Thank you all for your comments. I, too, hope he goes in peace.

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