Sports

Idaho post office could be named after one of state’s legendary athletes

Harmon Killebrew poses with a statue of himself unveiled near Target Field on April 3, 2010, in Minneapolis. Killebrew, the Twins slugger and Payette native known for his tape-measure home runs, may soon have a Payette post office named after him.
Harmon Killebrew poses with a statue of himself unveiled near Target Field on April 3, 2010, in Minneapolis. Killebrew, the Twins slugger and Payette native known for his tape-measure home runs, may soon have a Payette post office named after him. AP file

Harmon Killebrew was discovered in 1954 by a scout for the Washington Senators after he hit a 435-foot home run into a beet field during a semi-pro Payette Packers game in Idaho.

The 1954 Payette High graduate went on to become one of baseball’s greatest home run hitters in a 22-year professional career with the Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.

Now a post office in Payette could be named in his honor.

Rep. Raúl Labrador introduced a bill July 13 proposing the U.S. Postal Service located at 915 Center Ave. in Payette be named the “Harmon Killebrew Post Office Building.”

Killebrew, who died of esophageal cancer in 2011, hit 573 career home runs and was named the American League MVP in 1969. He played in 13 All-Star Games and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.

Beyond his baseball years, Killebrew established a legacy of generosity. The Harmon Killebrew Foundation has helped build more than a dozen Miracle League Fields for children with disabilities, including one in his hometown of Payette.

“Harmon Killebrew built his strength lifting 10-gallon milk cans on Idaho dairies and leveraged his work ethic into legendary status,” Labrador said in a press release. “But Killebrew was far more than a great athlete. He was a truly good and kind man who used his fame to make the world a better place. His generosity lives on in his hometown and naming the Payette Post Office for him is a well-deserved honor.”

The baseball and football fields at Payette High are already named for Killebrew, and the city holds an annual celebration in his name.

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @byrachelroberts

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