Teammates, family honor Hall of Famer Killebrew

By Bob Baum

Associated Press

Published: Friday, May 20 2011 1:25 p.m. MDT

Pall bearers, from left, current Minnesota Twins players Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer, former teammate Frank Quilici, current Twins player Justin Morneau, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, Paul Molitor, right, follow former Twins player Tony Oliva, as they lead the casket of baseball great Harmon Killebrew during the processional for his funeral at Christ's Church of the Valley, Friday, May 20, 2011, in Peoria, Ariz.

The Arizona Republic, David Wallace) ** MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES , Associated Press

PEORIA, Ariz. — Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew was remembered for his kindness and respect for all those he encountered in a moving funeral service on Friday.

Several hundred, including past and present members of the Minnesota Twins, attended the service at a suburban north Phoenix church on a gorgeous sunny morning.

Killebrew, who hit 573 home runs in his long major league career, died Tuesday of esophageal cancer at 74.

Former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven had those in attendance stand and cheer Killebrew for an imagined home run No. 574 near the end of the service, and the crowd responded with a rousing effort.

But it was Killebrew the man who was celebrated far more than Killebrew the baseball player.

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