Harmon Killebrew

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Babe_Ruth, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    It's time to discuss about one of the home run hitters of all time. He hit 573 career home runs and drove close to 1600 runs in his career. He's one of the best right-handed home run hitters to ever play the game. He was known to hit monster home runs, once hit a 500 foot home run at the Metropolitan Stadium, it's the longest home run to ever been hit there.

    Killer has his best season in 1969, where he won the MVP, he hit 49 home runs, drove him 140 runs.

    He was an 11 time all star, the only knock on him was his career batting average, which was only .256, which is really poor.

    He would of had a chance to hit 600 home runs, but injuries reduced his effectiveness in the early 1970's and decided to retire in 1975. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, the first Minnesota Twin to be so honored.

    "If Harmon Killebrew isn't the league's best player, I've never seen one. He's one of the greatest of all time." (quote by Reggie Jackson)

    Time to discuss one of the best home run hitters of all time.



    He led the league in home runs six times, in rbi's three times
     

  2. SHOELESSJOE3

    SHOELESSJOE3 Registered Member

     
  3. He also won a HR title at Griffith Stadium, albeit after the fences on the left side had been made somewhat less distant. Only Roy Sievers shares that distinction. Had he played in a more reasonable home park, he not only would have hit more HR's in his years as a regular player, but probably also would have logged a lot more playing time in the years 1954-1958, when he had a grand total of 254 AB's, because any idiot could have seen what a tremendous power hitter he was. Given a normal stadium and full-time status from age 20 on, he might have come close to 700 HR's.

    Additionally, until many years later, when Cecil Fielder joined the club, Killebrew was one of only 2 right-handed hitters ever to hit a fair ball completely out of Tiger Stadium. The other was Frank Howard. That stat pretty much speaks for itself.

    Killebrew won SIX home run titles, which is more than just about every non-PED user. Ruth had 12, Schmidt 8, Kiner 7, and I believe Ott is the only other one with 6--and you could hardly find a greater disparity of home-park friendliness than that between Ott (the Polo Grounds) and Killebrew. He hit more HR's than anyone else in the 1960's, and that means more than Mays, Aaron, Howard, McCovey and a whole host of other great sluggers. He also had the best career HR/AB ratio of that lot, and by a fair margin.

    He was not a great all-around player. He was not fleet of foot (to say the least), did not hit for a good average and struck out an enormous amount of the time, once holding the dubious honor of being the all-time strikeout king. Then again, Ruth long owned that honor, so it ain't as bad as it sounds, and like Ruth only less so, Killebrew took his walks, so he got on base a decent amount of the time, despite his batting average. He was probably about equal as a HR hitter to Dave Kingman, who played in mostly terrible parks, but he got on base far more often, wasn't a disaster area in the field, and wasn't a cancer in the clubhouse. Bill James rates Willie McCovey ahead of Killebrew because McCovey had a brief period of extreme greatness, but Killebrew probably had the better overall career.

    He was inarguably one of the greatest HR hitters who ever lived, and he did it without steroids or HGH. There were those who questioned whether such a "one-dimensional" player should be admitted to the Hall of Fame, but that's a very important dimension and Cooperstown has many guys who were admitted solely as HR hitters. Killebrew was the best natural HR hitter of that whole lot.
     

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