Brewer legend Hammerin’ Hank turns 82 today. He is one of a kind, and that’s undeniable, of all the players in MLB history Hank Araron is the only one who is in the top ten of the following categories: runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, total bases and extra-base hits. He sits 4th in runs, 3rd in hits, 2nd in home runs and lifetime leads in RBIs, total bases and extra-base hits.
Hank Aaron’s start happened in 1951 when he was signed by the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League where he played just three months. The success of Aaron’s play in just three months led the New Your Giants and the Boston Braves to both offer him a MLB Contract, and Aaron signed with the Braves. He spent two years in the minors before being promoted to the Majors in ’54. By this time, the Braves had moved to Milwaukee and became the Milwaukee Braves. In his major leagues debut on April 13, 1954 Aaron was hitless in 5 at-bats against the Cincinnati Reds Pitcher Joe Nuxhall.
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Aaron reached a number of milestones early on in his career, becoming (at the time) the 2nd youngest player to hit 500 career home runs. He collected hit #3,000 in 1970 and his 600th career homer run in ’71.
As the seasons progressed everyone talked about Aaron chasing Babe Ruth, despite Aaron’s attempt to downplay the scenario. And then it happened. April 8, 1974 at Turner Field Aaron hit number 715 off of Dodgers pitcher Al Downing in front of 53,775 people, surpassing the great Hank Aaron for the most career home runs in baseball history.
His 755th and final home run came on July 20, 1976 (Aaron now a member of the Brewers) at Milwaukee County Stadium off Dick Drago of the Angels. Aaron’s career home runs stood as a MLB record until Barry Bonds broke it in 2007.
Hank Aaron was inducted into the baseball hall of fame in 1982 receiving 97.8% of the votes, the second most in baseball history (Ty Cobb being the first). Aaron is arguably the greatest player in Brewers History, so happy birthday Hank!