Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew was remembered for his kindness and respect for all those he encountered in a moving funeral service on Friday.
Several hundred mourners, including past and present members of the Minnesota Twins, attended the service at a suburban north Phoenix church on a gorgeous sunny morning.
Killebrew, who hit 573 home runs in his long major league career, died Tuesday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., of esophageal cancer at 74.
Former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven had those in attendance stand and cheer Killebrew for an imagined home run No. 574 near the end of the service, and the crowd responded with a rousing effort.
A private burial is planned Monday in Killebrew’s hometown of Payette, Idaho. A memorial service is scheduled Thursday night at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Dodgers’ spot ‘historic’
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig calls the Los Angeles Dodgers’ turbulent ownership situation “historic,” and acknowledges that the league has stepped in to help financially troubled teams in the past.
But for now, Selig is dodging speculation that Major League Baseball will have to help one of its flagship clubs meet upcoming payroll obligations.
“We’ve moved in in other places,” Selig said. “This is historic. But I don’t really have anything else to say.”
Selig said he understands that Dodgers fans are concerned about the state of the club, and reassured them that MLB is doing what’s necessary to provide stability until a long-term solution is found.
Rizzo denies probe
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says he is not under investigation for confronting umpires underneath the stands following a controversial call.
Rizzo said he contacted Joe Torre, MLB’s vice president of operations, immediately after Thursday’s game in New York, which concluded with players and staff on the Nationals bench jawing at the departing umpires following a crucial ninth-inning call that went against them.
But the Nationals GM refused divulge specifics about his conversation with Torre. He said only that MLB was conducting an investigation, but that it had nothing to do with an apparent blown call in the Nationals’ 1-0 loss to the New York Mets.
Clearing the bases
Major League Baseball is looking into photos of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier making an obscene gesture on the field before a game. The photos, published on at least one sports website, were taken during batting practice before the Dodgers’ 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. … The Philadelphia Phillies placed center fielder Shane Victorino on the disabled list with a hamstring injury and recalled outfielder Domonic Brown from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. …The Cleveland Indians placed designated hitter Travis Hafner on the 15-day disabled list with a strained side muscle. Hafner will be out a minimum of three weeks.