College World Series Contest, Phase 2 - In case you haven't noticed, I've been running a little contest here for the past two weeks that revolves around the College World Series. Seven people hav...
Saturday, August 7, 2010
1967 Topps Minnesota Twins Harmon Killebrew
This autograph was obtained on June 2, 2010 in Birmingham, Alabama during the 100th anniversary of the Rickwood Field, the oldest ballpark in America. My friend Ryan and I took a bus trip sponsored by the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Team to Birmingham to get an opportunity for the autograph and watch the game between the Smokies and the Birmingham Barons. Harmon Killebrew was a special guest for the event and threw out one of the first pitches of the game. Also in attendance were many of the former Negro League Baseball players and it was an amazing day of baseball nostalgia and history. Mr. Killebrew agreed to sign autographs for the fans in attendance and I was fortunate enough to receive three cards from my 1967 Topps set signed. Besides his regular issue card #460, Mr. Killebrew signed card #241 American League 1966 RBI Leader, already signed by Frank Robinson and Boog Powell and the Twins Team card #212, already signed by Hall of Famer Rod Carew and Tony Oliva. If you want to know more about the Carew and Oliva autographs, read my story from my blog by clicking here. As of August 7, 2010, I have obtained 508 autographs in my 1967 Topps Baseball set.
Harmon Killebrew played 22 seasons in the major leagues from 1954 to 1975 for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals. His first appearance in 1954 was 4 days after signing the contract with the Washington Senators as a bonus baby. The bonus baby rule back in the 1950's and 1960's stated that the player must play in the major leagues for 2 years immediately after signing the contract. He was the youngest player in the major league at that time, 17 years old at his debut! During those two seasons, he had only 93 at-bats and hit 4 home runs. After the two years period expired, Harmon spent time between the minor leagues and major league for 3 seasons before return in 1959 for good.
Harmon "Killer" Killebrew had a breakout season in 1959, hitting 42 home runs and 105 runs batted in. He established himself as one of the premier power hitters of all-time over the next 15 seasons. His career statistics include 573 home runs, 1584 runs batted in, 2086 hits and a career .256 batting average. Killebrew appeared in 13 All-Star games during his career and 3 postseasons, 1965 World Series and 1969 and 1970 Playoffs. He led the American League in home runs 6 different seasons and hit over 40 home runs in eight seasons. In 1969, Harmon Killebrew was named the American League Most Valuable Player and in 1984 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his fourth year of eligibility.
After his playing days were over, Harmon spent time as a television broadcaster for several team from 1976 to 1988 and has been a hitting instructor for the Minnesota Twins. To learn more about Harmon Killebrew, read his biography at wikipedia.org.
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