Harmon Killebrew was a Minnesota Twin.

No, that's not right.  Let me correct that.

Harmon Killebrew was the Minnesota Twin.

If you were a kid growing up in Minnesota (or anywhere in the Upper Midwest) in the 1960's, there was a good chance Harmon Killebrew was your sports hero.

I know he was mine.

Harmon came along to Minnesota with the rest of the Washington Senators when they moved to Minnesota.

And in 1965 Harmon and the Twins won the American League pennant. I was a tender 10 years old, the perfect age to have your favorite team and player go to the World Series.  The fact that they lost that series to the Dodgers 4 games to 3 does nothing to dim that bright beautiful memory.

There they were...Harmon, Tony, Zoilo, Rich, Mudcat, Jim.

I remember writing a letter to Harmon when I was 8 or 9 and sent it (in the middle of the summer) to his home in Idaho.  I had gotten the name of the town off the back of his baseball card.

And I didn't hear anything back.  For months.  Then, in the middle of that winter, when I got home from school there was a manilla envelope with my name on it on the kitchen table.

It was an autographed picture of my hero.  Of course he didn't reply that summer when I sent it to Idaho.  He was a little busy in the summer!

I got to meet 'The Killer' here in Sioux Falls back in the early 2000's when he was part of the Twins Caravan that came through town in January.  It was the last time I was nervous to meet someone.  As it turned out this 'Killer' was the nicest soft spoken man I had ever met.

He impressed me more than I had ever hoped.

Harmon was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in August, 1984 and his speech is included here.

Harmon passed away in 2011 at the age of 74.  When you go to Target Field to watch the Twins today, be sure and notice the big '3' on the wall.

Harmon may have been #3 with the Twins, but he was (and is) #1 with me.