Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another One of the Good Guys Gone

Yesterday Harmon Killebrew passed away in Phoenix.

I met Harmon in Vero Beach at Dodgertown in 1988. I was a 40 year old wannabe old timer who was going to Fantasy Baseball Camp to play ball with 14 Hall of Fame players.

My first day at camp we found our uniforms hanging in the locker room and no one could withstand the draw of the field. We suited up and started a pick-up game. When my turn came to bat I couldn’t have gotten a hit if I stood in front of the ball. I heard a chuckle and turned around to find, to my mortification, Harmon Killebrew, Duke Snyder, and Frank Robinson watching me fan the catcher.

I tossed my bat in the air, and red faced, slunk from the plate. The Duke gave me some tips, and I did OK. Harmon was there every day watching me play and always had a good word for me and the other ‘campers’.

He was a true gentleman. One of the greatest hitters who ever played the game, he never came across as anything other than a regular guy. He was as interested in our backgrounds as we were in his stories.

I haven’t played ball since then, but I keep a picture of me and the Hall of Famers on my desk at home. And every time I watch a ball game I think of the joy Harmon and the others brought to a bunch of men who could only dream of doing what they did day in day out.

My deepest sympathies go to Harmon’s family and all the baseball players around the world who will no longer get the chance to share a moment or two with this truly remarkable man.

Babu in the Jungle

6 comments:

willie101 said...

Hi Bill,

I am an old friend of Aki Ra's, and as it's been many years since I was last in Cambodia, it has been too long since I last saw him. I have written emails to the contacts on his websites, but if you could, would you please pass on this message to Aki Ra for me? I am maybe coming back to Cambodia in 2011, and would really like to speak to him before I do.

Thank you so much for passing on this message, and also for all of the support you have given to Aki Ra and his work. I hope that you are in Cambodia when I am there and that we get to meet.

Kind Regards,
Willie Wahlin

willie101 said...

PS The reason I will be coming to Cambodia is that I am working on this project as a designer:

http://rescuersresearch.blogspot.com/

This is the exhibition that will be going to Sarajevo, Bosnia, but it will be redesigned in Khmer and shown in Phnom Pehn also.

Yusuf Chowdury said...

Every one of us have to go but we all want our expected death. No one should be died before his or her expected age.

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