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Baseball Hall of Famer Killebrew Says He Has Esophageal Cancer

Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew
Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins. Photographer: Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew says he has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and is facing “perhaps the most difficult battle of my life.”

Killebrew, 74, whose 573 home runs are the 11th most in Major League Baseball history, recently received the diagnosis, according to a statement from the Cooperstown, New York-based National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Killebrew was inducted into the Hall in 1984 following a 22-year major-league career.

“With my wife, Nita, by my side, I have begun preparing for what is perhaps the most difficult battle of my life,” he said in the statement. “I am being treated by a team of medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic. While my condition is very serious, I have confidence in my doctors and the medical staff, and I anticipate a full recovery.”

Killebrew, the 1969 American League Most Valuable Player, played 21 seasons for the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins franchise. He finished his career in 1975, playing the final season with the Kansas City Royals.

Killebrew played first base, third base and outfield. He led the AL in home runs six times, and had a .256 career batting average and 1,584 runs batted in.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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