Hammerin’ Hank

hank aaron

On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 714 homers. Here is my childhood baseball card of Baseball Hall of Fame player and my favorite player of all time.

Some fast facts about Hank Aaron:

Born February 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama to Herbert and Estella Aaron.

Nicknamed “Hammerin’ Hank.”, Hank Aaron played in 25 All-Star games.He was the winner of three Gold Glove awards.The Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers have both retired his jersey number, 44.

Baseball Timeline:

1951 –
Begins playing for the Negro American League’s Indianapolis Clowns.

1954-1965 – Plays for the Milwaukee Braves.

April 13, 1954 – Makes his Major League Baseball debut with the Milwaukee Braves.

April 23, 1954 – Hits his first Major League home run when the Braves play the St. Louis Cardinals.

1957 – The Milwaukee Braves win the World Series. Aaron is named National League MVP.

1966 – The Milwaukee Braves become the Atlanta Braves.

1966-1974 – Plays for the Atlanta Braves.

April 8, 1974 – Breaks Babe Ruth’s record with his 715th home run during a home game.

1974 -1976 – Plays for the Milwaukee Brewers.

July 20, 1976 – Hits his final home run (755).

October 3, 1976 – Plays his final game.

1976-1989 – Becomes director of player development for the Atlanta Braves.

August 1, 1982 – Is inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hank Aaron and Racism

Here is what Great Black Heroes has to add regarding Hank Aaron.
Breaking Ruth’s record was not simply a sports milestone, it was a societal milestone. The racial animosity that he faced in the form of death threats were symptomatic of the way that millions of Blacks had lived for years under Jim Crow laws in the south where just ten years before, anything a Black person did that might offend a white person could end in a death sentence. For Aaron, with the pressure burdening him like a yoke upon his neck, to break the record in front of a worldwide audience, the moment became a symbol of moving beyond the past. As Dodgers play-by-play broadcasters stated:
“What a marvelous moment for baseball; what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia; what a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron.”

Who was your favorite baseball player of all time?

About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with Cru with my wife, Terry. We have been married 34 years and have 4 grown children. I have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right side bar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit: sarahjoellephotography.com
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3 Responses to Hammerin’ Hank

  1. daylerogers says:

    We’ll never know what it’s like to live with the challenge of not being the majority culture. Where you can be invisible even though you’re gifted. Where you are easily disrespected even though you treat others with grace. Where persistence–and the ability to smack a baseball–can eventually make a difference. Would love to know his bigger story. Thanks for sharing this, Steverino. A leader who was quiet and carried a wooden bat,

    • Steve Morgan says:

      Hey Dayle. I added a bit more to the end of the blog post that you may enjoy. (Thanks to your encouragement). He was more comfortable in Milwaukee than in going back to the segregated South in Atlanta. He got up to 3000 hate letters a day leading up to breaking Babe Ruth’s record, and still receives hate mail even after the 40 year anniversary of his record breaking 715. We still have a ways to go, don’t we?

  2. Pingback: Looking in the Rear View Mirror and Asking “How Long?” | Leader Impact

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