Harmon Killebrew's Hall of Fame plaque
MINNEAPOLIS -- It's Harmon Killebrew Day in Minnesota, with his longtime team set for a memorial service to honor the late Hall of Fame slugger.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton declared Thursday as Harmon Killebrew Day, in remembrance of the man who hit 573 career home runs and died at age 74 last week after a bout with esophageal cancer. Dayton's proclamation said Killbrew's life "should serve as an inspiration to everyone."
The event at Target Field is open to the public, and the Twins have planned a progressive ceremony to precede it. Some of Killebrew's former teammates will meet at the Mall of America in Bloomington on the old site of home plate at Metropolitan Stadium.
They'll take a special light rail decorated in Killebrew's honor to the Metrodome to pick up more ex-Twins before arriving at the new ballpark.
Killebrew's memorial starts at 7:10 p.m. and will be emceed by Twins Broadcasters Dick Bremer and John Gordon.
Among those scheduled to mark and celebrate the life of Killebrew include MLB Commissioner Alan H. "Bud" Selig, National Baseball Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Paul Molitor, Twins legends Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva, and current players Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer.
"I'll share a couple of stories and share about what kind of person he was," says Cuddyer. "He influenced me in my career and on me as a human being."
Fans will hear special music as well. Twin Cities singer-songwriter Jeff Arundel, who wrote a song called "Harmon Killebrew," will perform.
There will also be a variety of unique video tributes. According to the Minnesota Twins, even baseball legend Hank Aaron will be in attendance.
"It will be a who's-who from the game of baseball," says Kevin Smith from the Twins. "We hope our service lives up to the kind of guy he was."
Stadium gates will open at 6 p.m. and all seating will be general admission. Ballpark concessions will be open and all attendees will receive a commemorative program, compliments of the Twins and Star Tribune.
Fans are invited to drop by the ballpark early as Harmon's National Baseball Hall of Fame plaque will be available for viewing from Noon to 6:30 p.m. on Target Plaza near the Killebrew bronze statue.
Instead of flowers the Killebrew family is requesting that fans donate to the Harmon Killebrew Family Memorial Fund; Wells Fargo Acct#3471335038; c/o Minnesota Twins; 1 Twins Way; Minneapolis, MN 55403.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)