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Creating a lasting legacy: the final effort to complete the Miracle Field in Payette

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- He was affectionately called... the killer.

In his 22 years on the field, Harmon Killebrew played with the Senators, the Royals and the Twins.

He racked-up a whopping 2,086 hits.

583... were home runs.

But to those closest to the Hall of Fame slugger... Hammerin' Harmon had a heart of gold.

"Where I saw obstacle, my husband saw opportunity," said Nita Killebrew, his widow. "And that's how he lived his life everyday - he found opportunities to serve people and I don't want people to forget that - I want that legacy to be remembered."

Killebrew retired from baseball in 1976 and went on to be a hitting coach and sports broadcaster.

His love for humanity led him to become a spokesperson for hospice services and create a foundation in his name.

It's that foundation that would pave the way for "Miracle Fields."

Fields - - with a rubber mat, allowing people with disabilities - walkers or wheelchairs - to play baseball.

Killebrew helped get 12 built across the country before his death in 2011.

But there's been one he's always wanted to have built and have his name on.

"He asked as he was dying - we asked him what he wanted us to do with the foundation and his legacy - and he said wrap up my legacy by building the Miracle League where I had played - and the one in Payette - he said - I'd like that one to be named after me," Nita said. "And that's the only one he asked for."

A committee in Killebrew's hometown of Payette is determined to see it built.

"We want to have the field built and have the grand opening during the Harmon Killebrew Days, which is the third week in April," said Executive Director Craig Jensen.

Progress so far has been great.

$150,000 in donations have poured in.

Organizers only have $50,000 to go.

"We have asphalt that goes out for the outfield and down into the backstop, so you can see a baseball field - you can see where it's cut out for the dug outs," Jensen said.

Killebrew's widow Nita said her late husband wanted everyone to have the opportunity to play the game... that landed him in the Hall of Fame.

"That opportunity being made on an equalized playing field for them - that mean everything to Harmon - it was huge," she said.

Organizers said what's there now is just the beginning of what could be... miracles.

"I can't say the experience will be life changing, but I can certainly guarantee you that the experience will be life-affirming," Jensen said.

"Harmon would be humbled - he would be very humble about it - he would be honored - it would bring him to tears," Nita Killebrew said.

If you'd like to donate to the Harmon Killebrew Miracle Field, you can do so through several venues.

First, be sure to "like" the organization's Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/KillebrewMiracleLeagueofPayette

The official website for the Miracle League of Payette is: http://www.miracleleagueofpayette.com/

If you'd like to donate, here is the direct link with Executive Director Craig Jensen's contact information: http://www.miracleleagueofpayette.com/contact/

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