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05/18/11 1:50 AM ET

Mariners pay tribute to Killebrew

SEATTLE -- Even though Twins legend Harmon Killebrew retired two years before the Seattle Mariners franchise came into existence in 1977, the Mariners still paid tribute to the Hall of Famer who died at 74 on Tuesday after a battle with esophageal cancer.

The Mariners, who hosted the Twins on Tuesday night, honored Killebrew by flying the American flag at half-staff in center field at Safeco Field, while also holding a moment of silence prior to the national anthem.

"This organization is a great organization and very proud," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of the Mariners. "I talked to a few people around here and they recognize a lot about the game and not just their own history. They do a very good job of that, I'm told, and so it was really nice to have them come up with a video and a moment of silence to pay respect to Harmon."

"That was class," Michael Cuddyer agreed. "That was a very classy move from a classy organization to do that. They were right, Minnesota baseball and fans lost a great person, but baseball also [lost] a great person. So it was cool to pay tribute."

The Mariners also played a video tribute at the end of the first inning, showing clips of Killebrew's storied career that saw him hit 573 home runs over 22 seasons.

Additionally, the Mariners saluted Bert Blyleven, who currently serves as a Twins television broadcaster and will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer, after the fourth inning.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.