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Hank Aaron
#44 | Right Fielder | Atlanta Braves


Henry Louis Aaron: "Hammerin' Hank"

 

     The first name in baseball's Player Register is "Aaron, Henry."  On April 8, 1974, Aaron became the first name in baseball with his 715th career home run.  Aaron is the only player ever to hit 20 or more home runs in 20 consecutive seasons.

 

     But there was much more to Hammerin' Hank than his 755 home runs - thanks to his durability and consistency, the 24-time All-Star is also the major league leader in career total bases and RBIs as well.  Aaron won three consecutive Gold Gloves and a Most Valuable Player Award in 1957, and at one time held all-time marks for most games and at-bats.  His batting average over 23 seasons was .305, and he stole 242 bases in his career  - an indication of the all-around ability of this great ballplayer.  He was lat of the great Negro League players to play in MLB.

 

     As great a player as Aaron was, he greatly diminished his stature as a statesman of the game by complaining about the racism of the fans as he pursued Babe Ruth's record - for all that Aaron withstood, after all, at least he didn't come from an orphanage like Ruth did.  Aaron was a symbol of baseball's ability to make heroes out of people of any race or class, but he was also a reminder that even heroes can be whiners.

 

"As far as I'm concerned, Aaron is the best ballplayer of my era. He is to baseball 

of the last fifteen years what Joe DiMaggio was before him."

- Mickey Mantle

 

"The pitcher has got only a ball.  I've got a bat.  So the percentage in weapons is in my favor, 

and I let the fellow with the ball do the fretting."

 - Hank Aaron


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