Henry Aaron was a baseball phenom. He started his career with 2 years in the Negro Leagues and then 23 seasons in the MLB. He was voted into the All Star Game 25 times and appeared in 24. Known for his powerful swing in the 23 MLB years he amassed 755 home runs breaking the record that Willam Herman ‘The Babe,’ Ruth had held since May 25th 1935 with 714. Then on April 8th, 1974, this then 9yr old baseball junkie watched as the Dodgers So Downing served up the pitch that would go down in history as the HR that broke The Babe’s record despite the best efforts of Bill Buckner climbing the fence to attempt a catch but with no luck. The legendary Vin Scully was calling the game to a national audience.
As Scully intimates, Aaron’s life was threatened several times over the off-season. These were tumultuous times for race relations.
Hammerin’ Hank you will be missed. A true ambassador of the game. And in my heart 755 is still the record, no matter what the Bonds’ family says. Rest Easy Pork Chop, you will always be remembered as one of the very best. (Pork Chop was a nickname given to Aaron when he broke into MLB and that was all he knew how to order food when eating out. )