killebrew book

By Steve Aschburner
Baseball Biography
256 pages
Published by Triumph Books
ISBN: 9781600787027

I came of age just as the Minnesota Twins came into being – 1961. One of the first names I ever learned in baseball was Harmon Killebrew. He was our hero, our slugger, or epitome of how a baseball player uses his skills and how his demeanor, on and off the field, matter. We had his baseball cards, we wanted bats and gloves with his signature on them. He was a role model for the young boys of the summers of the 60s.

Steve Aschburner brings a precise and clean story to the reader in his book HARMON KILLEBREW: ULTIMATE SLUGGER, even to the point of explaining how he selected the title. We meet Harmon as he grew up in Idaho, where he was a star in many sports. We see him advance through his early years in baseball (the 1950s) as a bonus baby for the Washington Senators – which served as on-the-job training for him, picking up skills that would serve him very well through his more than twenty years in the majors. We see him off the field as well; his wife, their children, a divorce, some financial problems, his charitable work, his post-playing career as a broadcaster.

And centered in all of this, the author Aschburner makes sure we see Harmon’s character; that of an inestimably warm gentleman, hardly one who would carry the nickname “Killer”. Harmon’s career exemplified what we want sportsmanship to be – accepting the umpire’s calls, honor in defeat, humility in victory, joy in a job well done. Aschburner brings this to the forefront at all times, even from Harmon’s high school years and right on through to his last years where he is feted as a Hall of Fame inductee and at many other functions designed to pay tribute to this wonderful baseball player and gentleman.

This one is for every baseball fan who prefers his basbeball heroes with honor and class, on and off the field.