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I heard on the radio in the car a little bit ago that Minnesota Twins slugger, Harmon Killebrew has died of esophageal cancer at the age of 74. He had announced last week that he was suspending treatment, entering hospice, and prepared for what he called "this awful disease" to take its course. He was best known for being a prolific home run hitter, 573 for his career. (Those 573 homers were struck before anyone ever heard of a perfomance enhancing steroid.) He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for those prodigous home runs. His teammates remember him for other qualities like humility and sportsmanship.
There is a story about Harmon Killebrew growing up that I first heard told by Dr. James Dobson. I have repeated it many times. Here's how it goes: When Harmon Killebrew and his brother were growing up in Idaho, they loved to play catch in the yard. It was extra special for them when their father would join them. Killebrew's mother was meticulous about the lawn. One time when the father and his sons were playing baseball in the yard, Mrs. Killebrew emerged from the house and said, "You're tearing up the grass!" Harmon Killebrew's dad replied, "We're not raising grass. We're raising boys."
Perhaps I like that story because Diane and I were given two boys and now we have two grandsons. I always tried to remember (not nearly always successfully) what was important as they were growing up. I can be a little picky about the grass.....but raising boys is much more fulfilling.