Nightly News | May 17, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: One of the great names in baseball is gone. More importantly, one of the great players of all time has died. Harmon Killebrew , the pride of the Minnesota Twins , retired as the fifth leading home run hitter of all time. His career average was .256. A lot of folks at the time called him " The Killer ," but pitcher Gaylord Perry called Killebrew " Ma Bell " because he hit the ball a long distance. He's the fifth hall of famer to die in just the past year or so. He follows guys like Feller, Duke and Sparky to their great reward. It should also be noted that he died with the same grace he displayed on the field. He issued a statement when he entered hospice for esophageal cancer, saying calmly and clearly, quote, "I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors' expectation of a cure." Well, that's why they placed a photo of him beneath home plate today. It's why there's sadness in the Twin Cities and all over. Harmon Killebrew was 74 years old.