Tuesday, May 17 2011 @ 12:44 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Harmon Killebrew, the Minnesota Twins slugger known for his tape-measure home runs, has died at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., after battling esophageal cancer. He was 74.

I barely remember Killebrew, but even as an aging DH lumbering to the batter's box in his that-doesn't-look-quite-right Kansas City Royals uniform, he was an awe-inspriging vision of power at the plate.

The Twins announced that Killebrew died peacefully Tuesday morning with his wife, Nita, and their family at his side. He had announced in December that he had been diagnosed with cancer, then last week, announced that doctors had deemed his cancer incurable and he would no longer fight the "awful disease."

Harmon Clayton Killebrew, often called a "gentle giant," (yes, 6'0", 195# used to be "gigantic") hit 573 home runs during his 22-year career, 11th-most in major league history. His eight seasons with 40 or more homers still is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth.

Rest well, Killer.