Nationals owner Ted Lerner released a statement on the passing of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who played for the Washington Senators from 1954 through 1960, after which time the franchise moved to Minnesota and became the Twins:

“For baseball fans and Washingtonians there was a distinct sadness felt today with the passing of Harmon Killebrew,” Lerner said in the statement. “Our family and the Nationals organization were honored to host Harmon for a game last season at Nationals Park. We shall long treasure that evening and the gentlemanly impression left by Harmon.

“A Hall of Fame inductee in 1984, Harmon’s contributions to the game of baseball are bountiful and lasting. While Harmon was best known for his days with the Minnesota Twins, our organization takes great pride in baseball’s storied history in D.C. and Harmon plays a large role in that legacy. I will always remember his first 84 big league home runs came while playing for the Senators from 1954-60.

“It is the fond memories of Harmon and his days with Senators that added fuel to Washington’s desire to reclaim a Major League franchise. For this, Washingtonians will be forever grateful.”

Killebrew was 74. He died after a long fight with esophageal cancer.