As the 20th anniversary of his home run feat approached in the early 1990s, he told the sports columnist William C. Rhoden of The New York Times, “April 8, 1974, really led up to turning me off on baseball.”
“It really made me see for the first time a clear picture of what this country is about,” he said. “My kids had to live like they were in prison because of kidnap threats, and I had to live like a pig in a slaughter camp. I had to duck. I had to go out the back door of the ball parks. I had to have a police escort with me all the time. I was getting threatening letters every single day. All of these things have put a bad taste in my mouth, and it won’t go away. They carved a piece of my heart away.”
One of the Greatest players, and arguably the greatest offensive player, of all time, at a minimum he is in the top three in my book.
Total class, incredible poise and an amazing post retirement life. His ability to persevere not just as he was about to break Ruth’s record, but throughout his life should be a part of character education everywhere.
A true legend an inspiration, I will miss having Hammerin’ Hank as a part of this world.
Silly observation: There should be a rule that when an iconic player is on the verge of an iconic moment, it is illegal to change over to uniforms that look like pajamas. The Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers never had this problem. Their greats…were dressed in iconic homes or greys. Mr. Cub too hit his 500th in classic Cub uniform (extemely hard to say Cub and Classic in the same sentence for this Sox fan) Grateful the W.S. winning White Sox were back in the classic uniforms.
He’s the all time (nonPED-assisted) home run champ, but his greatness has been somewhat over-looked. Mays, Mantle and other New York-based players got all the attention.
The thing that pops out when you go through his stat lines (and this is true of a lot of the old timers) is how little he struck out relative to todays players. In ‘69 he hit 44 homers, slugged .607, and walked almost twice as often as he struck out (87 to 47.) Absolutely unheard of today.
It’s sad when most anyone dies. But losing Aaron, who was symbolic of so much that was right in baseball and the world, is especially hard. I’m 45 years-old, and he’s been an icon and legend to me my whole life.
- Scott Cross for President - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:54 pm:
Thanks for the movie rec. Was just thinking his life story needs a first class biopic.
It is heartbreaking that Aaron and his family were treated as they were. To live under threat of your life and the lives. of your children is a the worst. And all because you were great at what you do.