Hammering” Hank – the man who broke the Babe’s record

See the young man in this picture? He was 18 years old when it was taken at the train station in Mobile, Alabama, in 1952. There is $1.50 in his pocket. In that bag by his foot are two changes of clothes. (And if his mama was anything like most other mamas in the South, probably some sandwiches and other snacks.) He was on his way to Indiana to take a job.

He was going to play baseball for the Indy Clowns of the Negro Leagues. Apparently, he was pretty good at it. A couple of years later, he was signed by the (then minor league) Milwaukee Brewers. He played for the Brewers for 2 seasons, then moved across town to the Braves, and later followed them to Atlanta. Eventually, he was the last Negro League player to be on a major league roster.

He still hangs around the baseball world. At the moment, he’s the senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves. Even though the team has changed stadiums (twice) since then, his retired number, 44, still hangs on the outfield wall of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium near where he belted a homer to break Babe Ruth’s all-time record (which he held for 33 years).

Happy 86th birthday to “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron.

Cal Davis
February 5

Editor’s NOTE: Hank Aaron was one of my boyhood heroes. I was raised in the 50’s and spent most summers at ‘home’ 45 minutes from County Stadium in Milwaukee. BTW – I am ‘white.’ Never gave a damn about pigmentation. Guess I must have born color-blind. Oh – and another BTW – screw Atlanta. ~ Ed.

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