{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Manuel has fond memories of Killebrew

Manuel has fond memories of Killebrew

|
Manuel has fond memories of Killebrew
ST. LOUIS -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel spent some time reminiscing on Tuesday after hearing that Harmon Killebrew, his former Minnesota Twins teammate and longtime friend, had passed away after a battle with esophageal cancer at age 74.

"When I saw that today I was very sad," Manuel said prior to Tuesday night's game against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. "At the same time, when I started thinking about the laughter and some of the things he did, the fact that I've known him a long time and all that, I'd say the best thing about how I got to know him was in my first Spring Training, my first big league camp, I was lockered between him and Bob Allison. They were the big Twins star players. Even to this day, I can't believe that. I got to know them that way. Both of them were very good friends of mine."


Manuel was a 25-year-old rookie with the Twins in 1969 when Killebrew was in his 16th season in the big leagues, a 33-year-old who would end up winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award after putting up career highs of 49 home runs and 140 RBIs.

Manuel, who batted .207 in 83 games that season, watched and learned and hung out with veterans like Killebrew and Allison.

"I can tell you stories," Manuel said.

The 67-year-old manager told a couple on Tuesday, about moments on and off the field, during his pregame chat with reporters.

"I used to pull the boat for him and Allison," Manuel said. "They were scared to wade in the lake in Kissimmee. There were some alligators in there, otters and things like that in there that would bump up against your leg. They would get scared. So I would take the fish chain and hook it to the boat and I'd wade and pull the boat."

That was just part of being a rookie, Manuel said.

And he still remembers seeing Killebrew blast home run after home run. Killebrew, who finished with 573 home runs, hit 90 in the first two years he and Manuel played together.

"I used to take it for granted," Manuel said. "He'd hit 40 [home runs]. I think 49 was the most I'd ever seen him hit. But I took it for granted because I expected him to hit them. He was that good."

Manuel and Killebrew maintained a friendship long after their playing days were over, and Killebrew would visit Manuel whenever the manager would come to Minnesota, including the three seasons (2000-02) when he managed the Cleveland Indians.

"He was a great person," Manuel said. "Tremendous. He'd do anything for you. I never ever heard him say anything bad about anybody. Never. In all the years I'd been around him."

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español