Another baseball great has died. Home run champion Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s career homer record in 1974, died at 86. No cause of death has been given (other than being 86). Aaron had himself publicly inoculated with the Moderna vaccine on January 5.
Aaron trailed the slightly older and more famous Willie Mays in home runs for most of his career. But when the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966, after the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the previously somewhat overlooked Aaron benefited from moving from a pitcher’s park to a hitter’s park and posted huge numbers in his later 30s.
Eventually, Aaron’s homer record was broken by Barry Bonds after he got tired of so much publicity going to lesser players who were clearly on the juice like McGwire and Sosa, and decided to show what a great player could do with the aid of modern pharmaceuticals. Aaron was unenthusiastic about Bonds’ feat.
Aaron still holds the all-time career records for runs-batted-in and for total bases. The man could hit.