Thursday, April 8, 2010
It was thirty six years ago today that 'The Hammer', home-run champion Hank Aaron, hit an Al Downing high fastball over the left-center wall in Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, passing Babe Ruth's record of 714 career homers. I was only four years old at the time of the historic home run and didn't get to witness it live, but I still get chills when I watch the video of Hank circling the bases. Who can forget those two fans running beside him as he rounded second and headed towards third? It's too bad to have seen the record of a class act like Aaron be broken by a class ass like Barry Bonds. Hopefully one day Barry Bonds will be stripped of the **record** that he gained by cheating; but if he doesn't, then myself and plenty of others will still think of The Hammer as the real home-run champion.
The 1974 Topps card of the "New All-Time Home Run King" pictured above is an interesting one in that when it hit the streets, Aaron had not yet broken the record. Producing a card that recognized the Home Run Champ before he actually passed Ruth was quite a presumptuous move on their part, but it paid off for the company as this has been a pretty well sought-after card.