How Did MLB Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew Go Broke?

How Did MLB Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew Go Broke?

How Did MLB Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew Go Broke?

Harmon Killebrew, a legend in the '60s, rose to fame with a short, compact swing, generating spectacular power that made him one of the most intimidating home run hitters of the era. Among other accomplishments, he took home the home run crown on six occasions led the NL in RBI three times, and was selected to 13 All-Star teams.


The Glory Days

What Killebrew did in the field is almost as amazing as what he did with a bat. He won the AL Most Valuable Player Award in 1969 hitting 49 home runs with 140 RBIs and leading the Twins to the AL West pennant.


The Financial Struggles

But through debt and bankruptcy, the man who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984 accumulated significant financial hardships despite an impressive career. By the end of the 1980s, however, his financial difficulties also came to light, as it was reported $700,000 in debt and his house was in foreclosure. His financial problems arose from failed business ventures that included a car dealership and bank loan defaults.


The Road to Bankruptcy

If Killebrew dabbled in too many business ventures, his lack of business acumen simply made matters worse. He was inexperienced and did not know how to operate within the business world and ended up entering into failed real estate and other business deals, which ultimately led to him losing pretty much all of his money.


The Turning Point

Killebrew, however, refused to let financial struggles keep him down. He tried to launch new enterprises, including a signature bat line, in an attempt to pay back his debts and reboot his financial situation.


Life Beyond Baseball

Personal challenges marked Killebrew's life beyond the stadium. He suffered from a collapsed lung and shattered esophagus, which required two surgeries, and he was also in a wheelchair for quite some time.
Despite his financial missteps, Harmon Killebrew's legacy remains ahead. Famed for his friendly demeanor, the imprint he left on the Minnesota Twins and professional baseball will never be forgotten.


Lessons Learned 

Even in his difficult financial circumstances, Killebrew did not waver, and he did not ask for help; he retained his character. The rise and fall of Harmon Killebrew teaches us that the financial difficulties faced by athletes and entertainers are real and present every day. Though no small burden, the financial hurdles Killebrew faced paled compared to the challenge of overcoming adversity and getting back on his fiscal feet.


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