Rest In Power Henry Aaron, Baseball’s True All-Time Homerun King. Along with Ted Williams, to me, we just lost baseball’s greatest all-around hitter and an American Icon. The stats speak for themelves, but as a player and as a man, Hank Aaron should be measured by so much more than those 755 homeruns. It’s highly likely that no current or future player, no matter how great, will ever be forced to contend with achieving greatness in the context and amid the pervasive, poison atmosphere under which Hank Aaron achieved his — which makes his accomplishments requiring tenacious longevity, disciplined focus, emotional as well as physical strength, and of course pure, mercurial talent, all the more remarkable.
Henry Aaron is 84 years old now. And as hard as it may be to believe, the number of distant springs that have passed since he made his storied and successful homerun record-breaking bid now amounts to more than half his age.
It was 44 years ago this week — a fitting number, indeed — on April 8, 1974, that Hank Aaron, as an Atlanta Brave, powered Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Al Downing’s offering up, up into the deep night sky, past the noise and the crowd and the lights and toward that stadium sign forever imprinted in my mind as somehow symbolic — “Think of It As Money.”
To me and many others, “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron now, then, and always will be the True All-Time Homerun King, and more. Much more.
Aaron’s humble rise from poverty in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama amid the ugly blight of segregation, to…
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