Man, this one stings. Hank Aaron was one of the most interesting figures in baseball history to me as a kid. The video of him hitting 715 and fans running the bases alongside of him is one of my favorite moments in sports history. There truly may be no other video that shows the true power of sports more than the one below. The pure joy in every single person’s face in the video is indicative of what one man’s talent can do for the greater good.
“What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world”
RIP Hank Aaron pic.twitter.com/RD1RqVj2um
— Tyler R. Tynes (@TylerRickyTynes) January 22, 2021
What makes Hank Aaron’s legacy even better is that there is not a single bad story about him to be found. Anywhere. For someone who is one of baseball, and sports in general’s, most prominent figures to have never had a single bad thing written about him is unbelievable. Hank was THE role model for kids everywhere, no matter where they were from and what race they might have been. Hank Aaron brought together a country that had gone through a tumultuous decade in the ’60’s and made people root for a unified cause: breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record.
“Breaking into the big leagues in the days of segregation was extremely hard…I wanted to give up. But I kept going & I learned that if you want something bad enough, you have to make the necessary sacrifices to get it.” Hank went from a kid who hit bottle caps with sticks, then struggled just to even have a chance to play professional baseball, to breaking a record held by Babe Ruth, widely regarded as the greatest baseball player of all time.
But Hank Aaron isn’t talked about the way that Babe Ruth is. Or even Barry Bonds. For some reason, those that educate the younger generations on baseball history seem to leave out one of the sports greatest men. A guy that had a career batting average of .305, over 3,700 hits (!), and 755 HOME RUNS is often left out of the greatest of all-time conversation.
So with Hank’s unfortunate passing, all I can say is: GIVE THIS MAN THE RESPECT HE DESERVES. Let’s teach the younger generation of baseball fans about Hank’s unbelievable career. About how he fought through all types of adversity to not only become a professional baseball player, but THE GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYER OF ALL TIME.
Thank you, Hank. Thank you for being someone that made me fall in love with the game of baseball for all of the right reasons. Your legacy will last forever.
(February 5, 1934 – January 22, 2021)
(P.s. I think I asked for the 44 Braves retro jersey for five straight Christmases. I will never forgive Santa for not obliging. One of the top-5 jerseys of all-time.)