August 7th, 2007, I remember watching Barry Bonds hit his 756th career home run to Right Center field. The packed crowd at AT&T park erupted as the ball flew high and deep and eventually was deposited in a sea of arms, hoping to catch and keep that record breaking ball.
Today is not about Barry Bonds. It’s not about 755 or 756 home runs or the Hall of Fame. Today is a day of great loss for Baseball and America. Today is the day that we lost ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ Aaron.
Aaron started his professional baseball career back on November 20th, 1951 when he was signed to play Shortstop for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League. In just 3 months of playing in the Negro League, Aaron played 26 games hitting .366 with 5 home runs, 33 runs batten in, 41 hits and 9 stolen bases. Needless to say, he drew attention from MLB teams, primarily the New York Giants and the Boston Braves.
Hank Aaron went on and broke records and created a new mold of what a power hitter in the Majors looked like. Between the Braves and Brewers organizations, he had a .305 career batting average with 3,771 hits, 755 home runs and 2,297 runs batted in. 25 All-Star games, multiple Gold Gloves, Batting Champion titles, Home Run leader titles and 1 World Series win in 1957. He was also elected as a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee in 1982 with a still standing record 97.83% of the vote.
Hank Aaron passed away today at the age of 86. Aaron believed that baseball was something special and each player should not be celebrated based on records they achieved or how many awards they won, but how hard they played each game. Hank respected the game above legacy. He was a good man who loved his community and his family.
If you are a sports fan in general, but especially if you are a baseball fan, take some time today to watch some footage of Hank Aaron’s beautiful swing. Watch some video of how he would glide around the outfield and made defense look easy. Take a moment today to celebrate the life and memory of the best pure offensive players in MLB history.
Hank Aaron, you will be missed.
Written By: DJ Parker