Champions, Always…

Cancer has hit the sports world hard this week.

Seve Ballesteros, the flashy, brilliant golfer who learned to hit the ball a mile, as a little kid, with a three-iron off the beaches near his home in Spain, died at the age of 54.  He had brain cancer. 

Seve was only 19 when he woke-up golf.  He had a flair and a joy for the game few had ever seen on the pro tour.  I remember seeing him on the golf course and couldn’t believe his style.  He used to walk the fairways like they were red carpets.  His post tournament interviews were always filled with great stories and great lines.  He took “stuffy” out of the pro game and made it fun to watch.

I can’t remember anyone ever saying anything negative about the man.  And by all accounts he battled his cancer until there was nothing more to be done.

Those were Harmon Killebrew’s thoughts today as he released a prepared statement from the Baseball Hall of Fame, saying his cancer, that began in his throat, has reached a point where his doctors say they can do nothing more.

Killebrew will live out the remainder of his days under hospice care.

“With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease.  My illness has progressed beyond my doctors’ expectation of cure.”

Harmon Killebrew was an 11-time All-Star in the major leagues.  He was a brawny, scrappy player in the days when baseball players were baseball players. He played the game for 22-years. with stats that put him into the Hall in 1984.

Seve Ballesteros and Harmon Killebrew..strong, successful and invincible…until cancer knocked.

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