MINNEAPOLIS -- Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew says he will no longer fight esophageal cancer and is settling in for the final days of his life.
The Minnesota Twins released a statement on Friday from Killebrew, who was diagnosed with the disease in December.
"It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end," the former Twins and Washington Senators star said. "With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors' expectation of cure.
Killebrew, 74, said he will enter hospice care, that he's comforted by the presence of family and friends and that he looks forward to spending his final days "in comfort and peace" with his wife.
"I thank you for the outpouring of concern, prayers and encouragement that you have shown me," Killebrew said in the statement.
Killebrew, a third baseman and left fielder, currently ranks 11th on the all-time major league home run list with 573. He spent 21 seasons with the Senators and Twins, in addition to one final season with the Kansas City Royals.
Killebrew's No. 3 jersey is retired, and he made several appearances at the Twins' new outdoor ballpark last season. He did not throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Minnesota's home opener in April because he did not want to disrupt his treatment schedule.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.