Harmon Killebrew near death from esophageal cancer

Harmon Killebrew plans to spend his final days under hospice care.
Harmon Killebrew plans to spend his final days under hospice care.

Baseball legend Harmon Killebrew believes he is nearing his final days. The former power hitter, Hall of Famer and Twin Cities icon has announced that his esophageal cancer has taken a turn for the worse, and he is checking into a hospice.

"It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end," he says.

"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."

The 74-year-old hit 573 home runs during his 22-year-career, ranking him 11th all-time for career home runs.

After retiring in 1975, Killebrew went on to be a broadcaster for the Twins and a few other teams. He was inducted into the baseball hall of fame in 1984.

Here's some classic footage of retired Killebrew interviewing future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, in which Killebrew gets doused in beer:

In this clip, Killebrew tells the story of how overhearing a couple kids talk about his career led to his decision to retire:

TPT has another great interview of Killebrew talking about how $500 almost got in the way of a contract agreement when he signed with the Twins.

Killebrew first announced he was battling cancer last December. Baseball fans all over are clearly saddened by today's development. Here's what Jim Salisbury, veteran spots reporter for, had to say about it:

If you love baseball, or just great people, say a prayer for Harmon Killebrew today.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

Have a favorite Killebrew memory? Share it in the comments.

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