For years, he thrilled baseball fans with his towering home runs at old Metropolitan Stadium. But Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew's fight against terminal cancer is rounding third and heading for home.
The 74-year-old former Minnesota Twin announced Friday he'll enter hospice care because his cancer of the esophagus is incurable. One of Killebrew's biggest fans lives in Sioux Falls.
Cam Lind's basement is a shrine to baseball history in general, the Minnesota Twins in particular, and Harmon Killebrew forever.
"The Killebrew stuff will all stay in the family," Lind said.
In the 1970s, Lind served as emcee for Sioux Falls banquets that honored current and former members of the Minnesota Twins. That's when he first met Killebrew.
"Soft-spoken guy, hand shake like iron. The first thing I always admired the size of his arms," Lind said.
But the Twins' larger-than-life Iron Man is preparing for his final days.
"This is a tough one," Lind said.
The ballplayer they called "Killer" touched so many lives. Baseball fans from all over, including Lind, are having a tough time coming to terms with a powerful slugger like Killebrew going down swinging in his battle against cancer.
"I think I probably sunk down in my chair about three or four inches and just sat there and just started to cry. I'm doing better now, but that first five minutes was awful," Lind said.
Killebrew's mighty bat combined with his unassuming manner endeared him to many fans who will have a difficult time saying goodbye to their humble hero.
"I hate to let go of the past in a lot of things where so much was so good. And everything with Harmon was good. He was a true Hall-of-Famer," Lind said.
Among Lind's prized possessions is an autographed third-basemen's glove Killebrew wore in the field.