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ChrisP

Hammerin' Hank is 86

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https://www.mlb.com/news/hank-aaron-s-best-stats-and-accomplishments 

He is one of five players to post at least eight 40-homer seasons, one of two (along with Alex Rodriguez) to have 15 30-homer seasons and is the only player to go deep 20-plus times in 20 different years. Those years came consecutively from 1955-74. Aaron failed to reach that threshold only as a 20-year-old rookie in 1954, and as a 41- and 42-year-old in 1975-76.

 

In addition to home runs, games and plate appearances, Aaron ranks third all-time in hits (3,771), fourth in runs scored (2,174), first in total bases (6,856), first in extra-base hits (1,477), first in RBIs (2,297), fourth in intentional walks (293) and fifth in WAR for position players (143). He is one of six players to reach the hallowed milestones of 3,000 hits and 500 homers.

Think about those 6,856 total bases. That total is 722 more than second-place Stan Musial -- about twice the amount produced by 2019 Major League leader Rafael Devers (359). How much is 6,856? It equates to 1,714 home runs, 2,285 triples or 3,428 doubles. If a player matched Ruth’s single-season record of 457 total bases and kept that up for 15 years, he would still be one base short of Aaron.

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He was a favorite of mine when I was a kid.  Read a biography of him in grade school and he had to deal with a ton of racism on his way to beating Ruth.  Remember watching the game he hit 715. Always a class act.

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Tremendous player and an incredibly dignified man.

One of my favorite Aaron stories is when he was a relatively young player he came up to bat and the bat label was facing the pitcher.    The veteran catcher said to him, “that’s not how you hold the bat, you’re supposed to be able to read the label.” Aaron looked at him and said, “I didn’t come up here to read.”

 

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Always knew that 2/5 is his birthday.  Third grade backwardsk did a book report on him for black history month, and always remembered that fact.

Also have the 57(?) Topps baseball card that has the reverse negative.

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Is it weird that my first thought on reading this was "Hank Greenberg has to be about 120, not 86"?  Greenberg was Hammerin' Hank about 20 years before Aaron.

Aaron might be a little overlooked for an all-time great.  Seems to me people talk a bit more about Mays and Williams than Aaron.  Aaron was kind of like the 125% version of Eddie Murray.  He never had a Ruth/Bonds kind of holy @#$% season, but almost every year for 20 years he was among the best players in baseball.  At 22 he had a 151 OPS+, at 38 he had a 147 OPS+, and for his career he had a 155 OPS+.  

One of the marks of a truly great player is that they can win an MVP award in just another year.  His one MVP came in what might be his 8th-best season.

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I remember seeing Aaron collect the final extra-base hit and score the final run of his career.  He was a youngster of 42 at the time.

The Orioles' final home game of the 1976 season, on Wednesday night, Sept. 29, was against the Brewers, with whom Aaron concluded his career.  A few days before the game, Brooks Robinson made a comment to the effect that he wasn't sure he would come back for the 1977 season.  With the possibility that the Wednesday night game might be Brooks' final home game suddenly staring them in the face, the Orioles hastily announced that that game would be "Thanks, Brooks" night and encouraged fans to come out and give the Oriole legend what might be his last hurrah.

The promotion wasn't terribly successful, as only 8,119 of us showed up at Memorial Stadium that night (thought that was a good bit better than the 4,598 who had attended the night before).  Brooks played in the game and had an eighth-inning single, after which he was removed for pinch-runner Bob Bailor.  Aaron had a sixth-inning double and came around to score the Brewers' fourth run of what wound up as a 6-3 Milwaukee victory.

Bad Henry played one more major league game, that in the Brewers' home finale on Sunday, Oct. 3.  He went 1-for-3, with a sixth-inning RBI single, after which he was removed for pinch-runner Jim Gantner.

Hard to believe, but the attendance at County Stadium for Aaron's last game was a mere 6,858, fewer than had been at Memorial Stadium four nights previous.

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