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I. M. Gei
Jun 26, 2005

I fear the man who has hit one dinger ten thousand times.




This is loving awful.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/sports/baseball/hank-aaron-dead.html

The New York Times posted:

Hank Aaron, who faced down racism as he eclipsed Babe Ruth as baseball’s home run king, hitting 755 homers and holding the most celebrated record in sports for more than 30 years, has died. He was 86.

The Atlanta Braves, his team for many years, confirmed the death on Friday in a message from its chairman, Terry McGuirk. No other details were provided.

Playing for 23 seasons, all but his final two years with the Braves in Milwaukee and then Atlanta, Aaron was among the greatest all-around players in baseball history and one of the last major league stars to have played in the Negro leagues.

But his pursuit of Ruth’s record of 714 home runs proved a deeply troubling affair beyond the pressures of the ball field. When he hit his 715th home run, on the evening of April 8, 1974, against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, he prevailed in the face of hate mail and even death threats spewing outrage that a Black man could supplant a white baseball icon.

Aaron was routinely brilliant, performing with seemingly effortless grace, but he had little flash, notwithstanding his nickname in the sports pages, Hammerin’ Hank. He long felt that he had not been accorded the recognition he deserved.

He played for teams far beyond the news media centers of New York and the West Coast, and his Braves won only two pennants and a single World Series championship, those coming long before he approached Ruth’s record.

Aaron did not enjoy the idolatry accorded the Yankees’ Mickey Mantle or match the exuberance and electric presence of the Giants’ Willie Mays, his outfield contemporaries and rivals for acclamation as the greatest ballplayer in major league history.

But when he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility, Aaron received 97.8 percent of the vote from baseball writers, second at the time only to Ty Cobb, who was inducted in 1936.

Aaron grew up in Alabama amid rigid segregation and its humiliations, and he faced abuse from the stands while playing in the South as a minor leaguer. Years later, he felt that Braves fans were largely indifferent or hostile to him as he chased Ruth’s record. And the baseball commissioner at the time, Bowie Kuhn, was not present when he hit his historic 715th home run.

All that, and especially the hate mail that besieged him, seared Aaron for years to come.

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.”

Aaron’s achievements went well beyond his home run prowess. In fact, he never hit as many as 50 homers in a single season.

He was a two-time National League batting champion and had a career batting average of .305. He was the league’s most valuable player in 1957, when the Milwaukee Braves won their only World Series championship. He was voted an All-Star in all but his first and last seasons, and he won three Gold Glove awards for his play in right field.

Aaron combined with the Hall of Fame third baseman Eddie Mathews for 863 home runs during their 13 years together on the Braves, the most ever for two teammates.

Aaron remains No. 1 in the major leagues in total bases (6,856) and runs batted in (2,297); No. 2 in at-bats (12,364), behind Pete Rose; and No. 3 in hits (3,771), behind Rose and Cobb. He won the National League’s single-season home run title four times, though his highest total was only 47, in 1971. Matching his jersey number, he hit exactly 44 home runs in four different seasons.

At six feet tall and 180 pounds, Aaron was hardly the picture of a slugger, but he had thick, powerful wrists, enabling him to whip the bat out of his right-handed stance with uncommon speed.

“He had great forearms and wrists,” Lew Burdette, the outstanding Braves pitcher, recalled in Danny Peary’s oral history “We Played the Game” (1994). “He could be fooled completely and be way out on his front foot, and the bat would still be back, and he’d just roll his wrists and hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Aaron was quick on the bases and in the outfield.

“There aren’t five men faster in baseball, and no better base runner,” Bobby Bragan, Aaron’s manager in the mid-1960s, told Sports Illustrated. “If you need a base, he’ll steal it quietly. If you need a shoestring catch, he’ll make it, and his hat won’t fly off and he won’t fall on his butt. He does it like DiMaggio.”

Aaron was a keen student of pitching and kept himself in excellent shape.

“I concentrated on the pitchers,” he said in his memoir, “I Had a Hammer” (1991, with Lonnie Wheeler). “I didn’t stay up nights worrying about my weight distribution, or the location of my hands, or the turn of my hips: I stayed up thinking about the pitcher I was going to face the next day. I used to play every pitcher in my mind before I went to the ballpark.”

Dusty Baker, later a longtime manager, was mentored by Aaron when he was a young player with the Braves.

“Nobody had concentration like he did, sitting there in the dugout, looking at the pitcher through the little hole in his cap to focus on the release point,” Baker once said. “Never saw anyone do that before Hank.”

Baker said Aaron had been hampered by sciatic nerve problems but had the ability to “think away the pain and to condition himself like no other baseball player of his time.”

The San Francisco Giants’ Barry Bonds surpassed Aaron’s home run record in August 2007 and went on to hit 762 homers. But many inside baseball and out considered Bonds’s achievement to be tainted by suspicions that he had used performance-enhancing drugs in what came to be known as baseball’s steroid era, when bulked-up players achieved stunning feats of slugging.

Aaron did not speak out on steroid use, but he declined to follow Bonds around the league to witness his 756th home run. When it came in San Francisco against the Washington Nationals, Aaron limited himself to a message on the stadium’s video board: “My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams.”

The NYT article is long as hell. This is just the first section.

I’ve been an Atlanta Braves fan since I was a little kid, and Hank Aaron was like a hero to me. This sucks.

to a great one.

I. M. Gei fucked around with this message at 17:44 on Jan 22, 2021

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AHH F/UGH
May 25, 2002



More like boringball

Jose Oquendo
Jun 20, 2004

At the end of 2018, a study was published by London Metropolitan University showing that certain bacteria, normally present only in intestinal tracts or feces, were found on McDonald's self-service screens.




Poppin greenies in heaven.

boar guy
Jan 25, 2007



yeah sorry but baseball is the worst

I. M. Gei
Jun 26, 2005

I fear the man who has hit one dinger ten thousand times.




boar guy posted:

yeah sorry but baseball is the worst

boar guy
Jan 25, 2007




ok boomer

MightyJoe36
Dec 29, 2013

Cat Army


Baseball is enjoyable if you actually go to the ball park and watch a game. Watching it on TV is a real snooze fest. My dad used to call it a Game made for Radio.

yikes!
Jul 5, 2006




Soiled Meat

i'm not a huge fan of baseball, but hank aaron owned anyway rip to a great dude

DeadFatDuckFat
Oct 29, 2012

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


Satan digs the long ball

Halloween Liker
Oct 31, 2020



Cant believe an 86 year old died

boar guy
Jan 25, 2007



Halloween Liker posted:

Cant believe an 86 year old died

an 86 year old that played their last game 44 years ago, before most goons were born, what a terrible tragedy

EorayMel
May 29, 2015

You got the fluffy kitty kitty!


Ninja Baseball Batman

I. M. Gei
Jun 26, 2005

I fear the man who has hit one dinger ten thousand times.




at least respect the man for overcoming racism, drat

Halloween Liker
Oct 31, 2020



I think he existed within racism, right. Overcome?

Its a sport, hes not overcoming anyone.

He was doing a white mans hobby like a race horse

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

Halloween Liker fucked around with this message at 18:13 on Jan 22, 2021

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

It's bulbasaur!

boar guy posted:

yeah sorry but baseball is the worst

If they got rid of base stealing games would go a lot faster since pitchers wouldn't spend all their time throwing glances behind them instead of throwing the loving ball.

Delta-Wye
Sep 29, 2005

Represent!

died with vaccine, not of vaccine.

DeadFatDuckFat
Oct 29, 2012

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


Halloween Liker posted:

I think he existed within racism, right. Overcome?

Its a sport, hes not overcoming anyone.

He was doing a white mans hobby like a race horse

So does that mean no one has overcome racism in your definition

The Walrus
Jul 9, 2002




DeadFatDuckFat posted:

So does that mean no one has overcome racism in your definition

other than that django unchained guy


rip hank

Full Metal Jackass
Jan 22, 2001

Rabid bats are welcome in my home

Rip to a real one

Farg
Nov 19, 2013



big sportsball energy coming from these replies. lotta people who got stuffed in lockers itt

I. M. Gei
Jun 26, 2005

I fear the man who has hit one dinger ten thousand times.




Halloween Liker posted:

I think he existed within racism, right. Overcome?

Its a sport, hes not overcoming anyone.

He was doing a white mans hobby like a race horse

are you a Koala’s March rereg?

AHH F/UGH
May 25, 2002



baseball makes a test cricket match look like a NASCAR crash megacompilation

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


some gross rear end opinions itt

Big Beef City
Aug 15, 2013




Halloween Liker posted:

I think he existed within racism, right. Overcome?

Its a sport, hes not overcoming anyone.

He was doing a white mans hobby like a race horse

The gently caress is this garbage

Saalkin
Jun 29, 2008

GREAT RACK



Baseball is dumb but beating whitey at his own game is good.

crazy eyes mustafa
Nov 29, 2014


Fun fact: He was the “hammer” in MC Hammer (Stanley Kirk Burrell was called Hammer due to his resemblance to a young Hank Aaron)

kntfkr
Feb 11, 2019


MightyJoe36 posted:

Baseball is enjoyable if you actually go to the ball park and watch a game. Watching it on TV is a real snooze fest. My dad used to call it a Game made for Radio.

I went to a Yankees Tigers game once with my dad and it was supposed to be a double header but the first game lasted 17 innings and I would have had more fun if I was sitting in a prison bus, cutting myself while reading suicide notes written by war orphans

Halloween Liker
Oct 31, 2020



WHAT???

SLICK GOKU BABY
Jun 12, 2001

A Little Known FACT: Burger King's Bacon King is superior to the Baconator.


I am always shocked and upset when old people die.

Full Metal Jackass
Jan 22, 2001

Rabid bats are welcome in my home

SLICK GOKU BABY posted:

I am always shocked and upset when old people die.

I got news for u buddy...youre old!!!!

Big Beef City
Aug 15, 2013




SLICK GOKU BABY posted:

I am always shocked and upset when old people die.

I don't think anyone is shocked though?
He's just an iconic player.

Waltzing Along
Jun 14, 2008

There's only one
Human race
Many faces
Everybody belongs here

Mods, please change thread title to ex-home run king.

Halloween Liker
Oct 31, 2020



used to have to find out later someone famous you never knew died, now its just bam bam...and its literally pointless

OB-GYN Kenobi
Dec 4, 2017


Halloween Liker posted:

used to have to find out later someone famous you never knew died, now its just bam bam...and its literally pointless

Much like your posts.

Halloween Liker
Oct 31, 2020



OB-GYN Kenobi posted:

Much like your posts.


Tell that to the ladies

Mega64
May 23, 2008





Not a big baseball guy but from reading a bit it seems he had a hell of a life both on and off the field, and I gotta give him props for doing what he did with all the poo poo he had to deal with.

Definitely a great sports icon for so many reasons.

Halloween Liker
Oct 31, 2020



Dude hit his peak early-mid 70's? , off the court would have been insane.

Big Beef City
Aug 15, 2013




Halloween Liker posted:

Dude hit his peak early-mid 70's? , off the court would have been insane.

Ah yes.
The ever popular 'baseball court'

Chief McHeath
Apr 23, 2002



Henry "Hank" Aaron never played with the juiced ball, but he did have JUICED BALLS!

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General Dog
Apr 26, 2008

New Year, New Me!

I remember when Bonds broke the HR record and the purists were all about it, some columnist wrote a fanfiction about Hank Aaron coming out of retirement at age 72 and taking the record back and it was extremely embarrassing to read.

Anyway,

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