PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Last night, the late Harmon Killebrew's oldest son told me Harmon moved down to Arizona because the Minnesota winters became "too harsh."
Cam Killebrew also said no one could keep him away from Minnesota, he flew back often. In fact, at one point, Cam asked his father to slow down a little bit, but to the legend known as The Killer, that wasn't an option.
He had too many people to help; too much to give.
The family hosted a visitation last night in Scottsdale, Arizona, just a few minutes from Harmon's home. Friends from his childhood, old teammates and others showed up to tell stories, and pay their respects.
Today's funeral will be held at Christ's Church of the Valley in Peoria, which is a good 45 minutes away. The reason? This will be a public funeral and they're expecting hundreds, probably more than a thousand people. This church is often used for funerals of fallen officers; it has an enormous auditorium.
The Minnesota Twins flew into Phoenix late last night after a series in Oakland. The entire team will leave a downtown hotel at 9 am Friday and arrive at the funeral service at 930. Several members of the team will be pall bearers including Ron Gardenhire, Joe Nathan, Justin Morneau, and Michael Cuddyer. They'll leave the service and get ready for tonight's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Former teammates Frank Quilici, Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, and Paul Molitor are expected to attend. Bert Blyleven will be making remarks at the service on behalf of Major League Baseball and the team. He is the only baseball-related speaker.
Every person down here we've talked to so far, understandably, talked about Harmon's character, not his prolific career. Friday's service is not expected to be a somber gathering, but more of a celebration of the generosity and kindness displayed by "a compassionate human being who just happened to also be a legendary baseball player."
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)