Idaho’s Greatest Pro Athlete’s Favorite Hobby Was Washing Dishes
Hall of Fame baseball player Reggie Jackson once called Idaho's most famous professional athlete and fellow big leaguer "the greatest" ball player Major League Baseball has ever produced. The celebrated and highly-religious athlete from Payette, Idaho, retired from baseball in 1975 having hit 573 home runs in his career.
People throughout the Gem State might have differing opinions on who the greatest Idaho-born athlete is of all time. Let me save you the thought. It was Harmon Killebrew...without question.
His nickname in the big leagues was "killer." He was known to kill the ball, and hit the furthest home runs ever in multiple stadiums in the sixties and seventies during his time with the Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins, and Kansas City Royals. He had a career .256 batting average, according to baseball-reference.com, which is lower than most Hall-of-Famers and why many believe it took him four chances to finally get inducted in 1984.
His most expensive baseball card I could find online is currently for sale for $73,000. Killebrew made the all-star team 13 times. His hometown of Payette is located 180 miles northwest of Twin Falls. He was once asked what he enjoyed doing in his free time, to which he reportedly responded, "washing dishes."
Killebrew is a name any baseball fan knows well. It's every bit as iconic as Ruth, DiMaggio, Williams, Cobb, and Mantle, in my opinion. Harmon Killebrew succumbed to esophageal cancer in 2011 at age 74 while living in Arizona, and was voted a top 100 baseball player of all time prior to his passing. He is without a doubt, not only Idaho's greatest professional athlete, but one of the world's greatest.