Henry Aaron....RIP [merged thread]

Carnac

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Say Hey will always be my favorite. I had the great pleasure of seeing both play here in NYC. On Oct 9, 1973 I was in the stands when Pete Rose slid hard into Bud Harrelson and a fight erupted. When Rose returned to play left field (I was high up in the left field stands) the fans pelted him with bottles, cans, and anything that was about. Tom Seaver, Yogi Berra, Willie Mays and Cleon Jones walked out to left field and held up their hands asking us all to cool it. The Mets won 9-2. Later that month, Oct 22, 1973, the Mets beat the Braves and Hank Aaron to win the NL pennant. I was there and walked the field after the game was over. I was also in the stands in the 1964 All Star game where I saw Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford and Roberto Clemente. RIP to all of the greatest I ever saw.

We were fortunate to be able to see these greats towards what I believe was the tail end of the golden era of baseball. There were so many great HOF players that played between 1955 and 1975. With the advent of TV, and the industry's willingness to show more and more games on TV as time went along, we got to see most of the greats that we would not have. I was a national league guy. I didn't care that much for the American League.

I went to several Los Angeles Angels games in their inaugural season of 1961 at Wrigley Field. Those games paled in comparison to the Dodgers' games at the LA Coliseum. Both teams moved into Dodger Stadium the next year. I got to see ALL of the national league teams between 1962 and 1975. Ernie Banks, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Frank Robinson, Robin Roberts, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Warren Spahn, Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Eddie Matthews, Tony Perez and too many others to name. The best of the best!! I know I missed out on a lot of great American league HOF's but I was satisfied with the national league teams.

My interest in MLB began to wane after the '78 season. A year later, "Show Time" made it's debut at the Forum in Inglewood. LA became "intoxicated" on Laker basketball. 🤪
 
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Bigboote

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What a great human being on so many levels. I think most athletes shouldn't be thought of as role models, but Hank was a huge exception to that. His bravery and grace in the face of all that he endured are truly admirable.

It's not quite the end of an era since Willie Mays is still with us, but this is the passing of one of the great athletes of my lifetime.
 
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At age 12 in May of 54 took the streetcar to the County Stadium stop, walked down the hill to watch, now batting for the Braves second baseman #44 Henry Aaron, with a well timed flick of the wrist, CRACK!, a line drive over the shortstop and up against the left center fence on 2 bounces, you knew right away ----got to see this truly great player many more times
Except Henry played the OF and wore #5 in ‘54. Didn’t switch to #44 until ‘55.
 

Carnac

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For me, basketball was a distant second to baseball and Hank Aaron was my favorite player by far. My idol.

I loved his demeanor, before I knew what the word "demeanor" meant. One sportswriter remarked in jest that he fell asleep between pitches.

I loved how he knelt on deck, and how he waited to get to the batters box before putting his helmet on.

I loved his effortless swing and how the ball jumped off his bat. A 5'11", 170 pound power hitter.

I loved how he loped after fly balls in right field.

I loved the Milwaukee Braves uniforms, and never cared much for the various Atlanta Braves uniforms, such as the one in the 715th home run video.

I was in tears at age nine when Bob Skinner reached over the fence at County Stadium to rob him of a home run.

I loved how he won "Home Run Derby" week after week and was dismayed when he finally lost to someone named Wally Post.

I loved that my parents took me from West Hartford to the Polo Grounds to see him play, and that I saw one of his 755 home runs.

Those were all observations of a kid. Later, as an adult, I discovered that he was a true gentleman who endured unspeakable acts of racism. He always carried himself with dignity and grace, both on and off the field.

Today will be a sad day for me. RIP, Henry.
I remember that too. Aaron was the only player I ever saw do that. I also remember Wally Post for a different reason. It was Post that hit the first homerun ever in brand new Dodger Stadium on opening day 1962. A three-run home run in the seventh inning. The Dodgers lost that game 6-3 in front of 52,564 fans.
 
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JS

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My first bat was a Hank Aaron bat. R.I.P.



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I had one too. A favorite.

Lived in Milwaukee in my early years before moving to New York State,. Always a NL fan, spent many years trying to find a NL team that could finally defeat the Yankees, at least once. Finally found it with the Boys of Summer, then with the Braves.

Eddie Matthews, Joe Adcock, Johnny Logan, Warren Spahn, Bob Buhl -- and Aaron, the superstar.

He wasn't a power hitter at first, just hit for a blistering average, always well into the 300s. The home run stuff came in later years after he added muscle to go with those amazing quick wrists.

But that wasn't as interesting to me as all those early chock-full box scores. Huge output of hits and RBIs day after day.

It just felt good to be a fan. Thanks, Hank.
 
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Year in and year out, one of the best ever! And, he played during some of the greatest pitching ever. A picture of class always. He learned how to hit playing stickball with bottle caps. Also, batted cross wristed when he was young and accidentally occasionally early in his career. He was the high bar.
 
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I remember well a day in early April 1974, skipping school to attend a game.
#715
Sorry but 715 was a Monday night game if the week had to talk my father into letting me stay up to see his second at bat of the game which was 715
 
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Later that month, Oct 22, 1973, the Mets beat the Braves and Hank Aaron to win the NL pennant. I was there and walked the field after the game was over.
Jordy. this is one BIG Senior Moment!!! Unless you got into the Wayback Machine and changed history, your account, as Cousin Vinny would say, doesn't hold water. The Mets indeed beat the Reds in 5 games (not to play the Braves, but) to win the National League pennant and advance to the World Series where they lost to the A's in 7 ending on October 21, 1973. They did NOT play the Braves that year in the playoffs. That was in 1969, when they swept the Braves to win the pennant and play the Orioles in the WS. I was at all three of the games at Shea against the Reds in 1973 and remember vividly the Rose-Harrelson fight and Rusty, Cleon and Willie going out to left to calm the fans in Game 3. I was behind the first base dugout and joined the jubilous Met fans who stormed the field after winning game 5.
 
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Jordy. this is one BIG Senior Moment!!! Unless you got into the Wayback Machine and changed history, your account, as Cousin Vinny would say, doesn't hold water. The Mets indeed beat the Reds in 5 games (not to play the Braves, but) to win the National League pennant and advance to the World Series where they lost to the A's in 7 ending on October 21, 1973. They did NOT play the Braves that year in the playoffs. That was in 1969, when they swept the Braves to win the pennant and play the Orioles in the WS. I was at all three of the games at Shea against the Reds in 1973 and remember vividly the Rose-Harrelson fight and Rusty, Cleon and Willie going out to left to calm the fans in Game 3. I was behind the first base dugout and joined the jubilous Met fans who stormed the field after winning game 5.
You're right. It was October 6, 1969. Sorry, you're right, a senior moment. But I was there and I did walk that field. Hopefully the dates on all the other things are correct.
 
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You're right. It was October 6, 1969. Sorry, you're right, a senior moment. But I was there and I did walk that field. Hopefully the dates on all the other things are correct.
As did I. But I have a better one involving the 1981 WS between the Yankees and Dodgers. While I was a staunch Yankee hater at the time [I grew up a Yankee fan but switched to a hater during the Billy Martin era], a law school classmate of mine took me to Game 6. Her father was President of WPIX so we watched from the WPIX luxury box next to Steinbrenner's box. She and I were the only ones in sight rooting for the Dodgers. I felt like Elaine wearing her Orioles cap. When the Dodgers won the game and the WS, we went out onto the field where fans (mostly Yankee fans, I assume) were ripping up the grass. My friend asked me to roll up a piece of sod and put it in my backpack. The next day, she went to her father's office at WPIX and rolled out the sod onto her father's desk.
 
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Wow, we have lost so many athletes in the past year....now adding the great Hammern' Hank to the list....damn, one of the very greatest. Had his baseball card a kid, along with the late, great, Ernie Banks. I thought I was quite something special owning those 2 cards. RIP Hank Aaron, you are the true "Home Run King".
None of these cards are in mint condition. They were won in my Brooklyn schoolyard either flipping or tossing at a wall.
CEF3749C-C759-42A3-81EB-F3359E1CFBDA.jpeg
 
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You're right, this is a MUST SEE video. SMH, I recognize and remember many of the players seen in the background of many of these clips. I remember the day (game) he broke the record. It was televised live.

Aaron hit the record-setting 715th home run in the fourth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, on April 8, 1974, against pitcher Al Downing. The ball landed in the Braves' bullpen in left-center field, where it was caught on the fly by Braves pitcher Tom House. Bill Buckner, then the Dodgers' left fielder, climbed to the top of the fence and begged House for the ball. The game stopped to celebrate the achievement, and after sprinting to the infield, House gave it to Aaron personally. He later said that Aaron was crying (tears of joy and relief). The man was CLASS PERSONIFIED". He endured many of the social and racial injustices that Jackie Robinson did, who started his career in MLB 5 years earlier.

I heard a report on the radio this morning that it was former Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale who served up more homeruns (15) to Aaron than any other pitcher. Aaron was not the only player than owned Drysdale. There was another, who also just happen to wear number 44.

Willie McCovey (San Francisco Giants) also owned Drysdale. Drysdale couldn't get him out, so he started pitching around him. He made no bones about it, he simply starting walking him every time he came up to the plate. Drysdale's mindset was: "McCovey is NOT going to beat me today".

View attachment 63811

Long time HOF Dodger broadcaster VIN SCULLY would often (respectfully) refer to Aaron as "BAD HENRY." I was privileged to see Aaron play in person at Dodger Stadium many times. He was truly one the all-time HOF greats in MLB. There are some (me being among them) that recognize Aaron as the true all-time leader in career homeruns and not Barry Bonds, because it is believed by many that Bonds used STEROIDS late in his career, although he never tested positive. Aaron was NEVER accused of using steroids.

JordyG was correct in saying "we shall not see his like again." RIP Henry Aaron, you left a legacy that will be remembered and revered forever. We lost a great one today folks. :(
I believe that it's true that Aaron never took steroids. But, in his autobiography, Aaron admitted to using amphetamines (Greenies as they were called back then) later in his career, to help him get through the season. The use of amphetamines were pervasive in baseball of that era.
 

Carnac

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I had one too. A favorite.

Lived in Milwaukee in my early years before moving to New York State,. Always a NL fan, spent many years trying to find a NL team that could finally defeat the Yankees, at least once. Finally found it with the Boys of Summer, then with the Braves.

Eddie Matthews, Joe Adcock, Johnny Logan, Warren Spahn, Bob Buhl -- and Aaron, the superstar.

He wasn't a power hitter at first, just hit for a blistering average, always well into the 300s. The home run stuff came in later years after he added muscle to go with those amazing quick wrists.

But that wasn't as interesting to me as all those early chock-full box scores. Huge output of hits and RBIs day after day.

It just felt good to be a fan. Thanks, Hank.
I remember everyone you mentioned except Johnny Logan. Between the ages of 8 and 16 (when I got my first real job in a super market), I lived, ate, and slept baseball. Reading the box scores everyday was a must. You had to buy all of the baseball magazines too. That's where you saw color pictures of the different players, and the stadiums around MLB.

Crosley Field, Connie Mack Stadium, Forbes Field, Municipal Stadium, The Polo Grounds, Seals Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Ebbet's Field, Metropolitan Stadium, Sportsmans park, Candlestick Park, Colt's Stadium, Wrigley Field (Los Angeles), Griffith Stadium, and County Stadium, etc, were portrayed and featured in magazines. All of us "old timers" remember these shrines to MLB. Some of us actually saw a game or two in some of them.

Most the youngsters today never heard of them. You got stories and features that you'd NEVER get in a newspaper. Coverage of MLB back in the 50's and 60's was nothing like it is today.
 
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I believe that it's true that Aaron never took steroids. But, in his autobiography, Aaron admitted to using amphetamines (Greenies as they were called back then) later in his career, to help him get through the season. The use of amphetamines were pervasive in baseball of that era.
No asterisks necessary for speed - everybody did it, so level playing field. Most clubhouses had 2 coffee pots - one “with” and one ”without”. Big time pitchers would insist that all the starting lineup get “greened up” for their starts. No wonder the party late/sleep late culture...
 
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At age 12 in May of 54 took the streetcar to the County Stadium stop, walked down the hill to watch, now batting for the Braves second baseman #44 Henry Aaron, with a well timed flick of the wrist, CRACK!, a line drive over the shortstop and up against the left center fence on 2 bounces, you knew right away ----got to see this truly great player many more times
Reread your own post. Unfortunately the Jacksonville Braves in '53 were not the Milwaukee Braves of '54. For Milwaukee in '54, Aaron did not wear #44 and play 2B.
 
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Sorry but 715 was a Monday night game if the week had to talk my father into letting me stay up to see his second at bat of the game which was 715
Sorry, you ever hear of night school (college)?
 
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Absolutely in the conversation for 5 best all time. He hit his 715th of of Al Downing (I got Al Downing's autograph at my Milford Little League banquet), on my brothers birthday.
 

triaddukefan

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I was talking to my father today, and he was telling me of when he was a teenager.. my grandfather took him and his cousin over to Charlotte to watch a exhibition game that Aaron was playing in. They noticed there werent any people in the right field bleachers, so they made it over there... and started yelling out "Hank, Hank" until Aaron noticed them and gave them a wave. That definitely made my father's day.
 

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