Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Atlanta Braves will pay homage to a home run king.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) February 11, 2014
2014 marks the 40th anniversary of ‘Hammerin’ Hank Aaron passing Babe Ruth’s all-time Home Run record. He drilled number 715 into the Atlanta Braves bullpen in the fourth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and pitcher Al Downing on April 8, 1974 on an NBC nationally broadcast game. He was 39 years old at the time.
Aaron’s pursuit of the Babe’s record had been surrounded in controversy, as in the months leading up to the magic number, Hank was the victim of much racism. Many did not want to see Aaron break Ruth’s record, sending death threats and writing disgraceful columns and comics about the potential of such a feat.
In the end, Vin Scully had the call of a moment of relief for Aaron.
What a marvelous moment for baseball; what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia; what a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron…And for the first time in a long time, that poker face in Aaron shows the tremendous strain and relief of what it must have been like to live with for the past several months.