Aaron, Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Louis

29 Dec 2009

The true, and ONLY Home Run King. Aaron was quite simply one of the greatest players of all time. When you take into account the era that he played in, what he accomplished is simply amazing. He played at a time when the talent level was at a new high with the best talent from the negro leagues having been allowed to penetrate MLB for 7 years. He played in an era when racist death threats were not uncommon, and to be taken quite seriously, and he received more than his share. He played during a period when pitching was so dominant that they had to lower the mounds…18 years into his career. He played in an age when a batter’s only protection against the errant or intentional pitch inside was his reflexes. Helmets were not even made mandatory until 3 years before his retirement, and helmets with ear flaps, elbow pads, ankle guards, thumb protectors, and batting gloves either didn’t exist, or were for wimps. Oh, and inside pitching and knock down pitchers were an accepted part of the game…and steroids were not. You had to be a Man to dig into that batter’s box, which he was, as well as one of the greatest hitters ever belting 755 career home runs, and posting a .310 lifetime average. I had the honor to meet Mr. Aaron, shake his hand, and get his autograph when I was a 17 year old rookie during my first week of professional ball. I still have that ball, and the memory of being in the presence of one of the greatest players ever to step on a diamond. Since his retirement he has remained an active part of the game, and graced it with his courage, strength, class.


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