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Hank Aaron, Atlanta’s home run king, breaks record with 715th hit 50 years ago

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Hank Aaron, Atlanta's home run king, breaks record with 715th hit 50 years ago

On April 8, 1974, historical past was made in Atlanta as Hank Aaron knocked his 715th ball out of the park, topping the Nice Bambino, Babe Ruth. That was the day Hammerin’ Hank Aaron cemented himself as the house run king.

“Aaron ready. The outfield deep and immediately. Fastball is a excessive drive into deep middle subject, again to the fence … and it is gone!”

Tom Home, the previous Braves pitcher, had the distinction of catching the history-making homer.

“I knew after I bought the ball I needed to get it in his hand,” Home informed FOX 5.

Home was one of many members of the 1974 Braves staff members readily available Monday on the Atlanta Historical past Heart on the fiftieth anniversary of the monumental second.

Atlanta Historical past Heart honors Hank Aaron with an exhibit paying homage to his life and legacy.

He was there as Billye Aaron, Hank’s widow, reduce the ribbon to assist open a brand new exhibit that takes a have a look at The Hammer’s life, impression and obstacles he overcame to succeed in greatness.

RELATED NEWS: Hank Aaron rose above racist hate mail and threats in pursuit of Ruth’s dwelling run document 50 years in the past

“For me, that is the primary complete image of Henry Aaron in a setting the place it may be appreciated,” stated Home.

“It was a beautiful feeling, they usually did a wonderful job,” stated Ralph Garr, former Braves outfielder.

Paul Crater from the Atlanta Historical past Heart is among the individuals who helped put the exhibit collectively.

“It simply did not seem to be work,” he stated.

The middle labored with Billye Aaron to deliver never-before seen objects collectively for the exhibit, which formally opens Tuesday. It’s anticipated to stay open via the 2025 all-star recreation in Atlanta.

Among the objects on show embody his Corridor of Fame ring, an unique Peanuts cartoon drawn about him, and his 1974 away jersey.

“I hope folks study what an unbelievable human being Henry Aaron was,” Crater stated. “He was an empathetic, variety, caring human being who made it his life’s mission to provide to others.”

FOX 5 Atlanta reporter Tyler Fingert contributed to this report

50 years since Hank Aaron’s 715th dwelling run: Atlanta Braves have fun

Earlier than Monday evening’s recreation in opposition to the New York Mets, the Braves held a particular commemoration to honor Atlanta’s dwelling run king.

RELATED NEWS: Hank Aaron’s 715th dwelling run: Atlanta Braves have items for followers who witnessed historical past

FOX 5 Sports activities was there for the pregame ceremony the place Hank’s household celebrated on the sphere alongside different baseball luminaries and Atlanta’s civil rights icons.

Followers who may show they witnessed the historic second 50 years in the past got free tickets to get pleasure from Monday’s celebration.

Take a look at FOX 5 Atlanta’s timeline of Hank Aaron’s thrilling life and spectacular profession.

FOX 5 Atlanta’s Kelly Value and DJ Shockley contributed to this report

Corridor of Fame pronounces Hank Aaron statue, Postal Service unveils stamp

The fiftieth anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th dwelling run was marked Monday with bulletins of a brand new statue at Baseball’s Corridor of Fame and a brand new commemorative stamp from the U.S. Postal Service.

In the meantime, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred helped honor Aaron in Atlanta by becoming a member of the Braves in asserting the $100,000 endowment of a scholarship at Tuskegee College, a traditionally Black college in Aaron’s dwelling state of Alabama.

Manfred famous the Henry Louis Aaron Fund, launched by the Braves following Aaron’s dying in 2021, and the Chasing the Dream Basis, created by Aaron and spouse Billye, had been designed to clear paths for minorities in baseball and to encourage academic alternatives.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 8:  (L-R) Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Billye Aaron and Dusty Baker attend a ceremony on the sphere marking the fiftieth anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s dwelling run document earlier than a recreation between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets within the first inning at Truist Park on April 8, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Picture by Brett Davis/Getty Photographs)

“I bought to know Hank later in his life and he had that tremendous presence that the nice ones often have, and he was undoubtedly a drive for change in our society,” Manfred stated on the Atlanta Historical past Heart, the place a brand new exhibit honoring Aaron was unveiled.

“I’m positive that dedication to enhancing the lifetime of others was partly a product of what he went via as a participant. Hank’s legacy goes approach past baseball.”

The exhibit will stay open via the 2025 All-Star Sport in Atlanta.

Billye Aaron attended the disclosing of the exhibit and spoke in a video about Aaron’s record-breaking homer in 1974. She stated whereas watching from her seat close to the sphere, she was upset to see two 17-year-old followers, Britt Gaston and Cliff Courtenay, run onto the diamond and be a part of Aaron as he ran across the bases.

“It simply made me offended,” Billye Aaron stated, including she thought the younger followers had been “stealing his thunder” however famous her husband was not upset.

“If I had been Henry working across the bases, I’d have given them greater than an elbow,” she stated.

One other fan, Charlie Russo, informed The Related Press he adopted Aaron’s household onto the sphere and for the primary time he made accessible a video replica of the 8mm movie he shot that evening.

Manfred stated a lot has modified within the final 50 years, together with safety. “I feel we’re higher than letting followers onto the sphere,” he stated.

Aaron’s 715th dwelling run topped the document 714 hit by Babe Ruth in a profession from 1914-35. Aaron hit 755 dwelling runs from 1954-76, a mark that stood till Barry Bonds hit 762 from 1986-2007, a feat assisted by performance-enhancing medication.

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 08: A view of a statue commemorating the fiftieth Anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th dwelling run previous to the sport between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on Monday, April 8, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Picture by Tod

Baseball’s Corridor of Fame will unveil a bronze statue of Hank Aaron on Might 23 on the primary flooring of its museum in Cooperstown, New York.

Aaron was elected to the corridor in 1982. A 25-time All-Star, he set a document with 2,297 RBIs. He continues to carry the data of 1,477 extra-base hits and 6,856 complete bases.

“The legacy of Hank Aaron has at all times been about a lot extra than simply his unbelievable baseball achievements,” Corridor chair Jane Forbes Clark stated in a press release. “His philanthropic imaginative and prescient, his assist of youth empowerment efforts and his pioneering work as an government have opened the doorways of alternative for tens of millions all through america and all over the world. We’re extraordinarily privileged to take care of and protect his total private assortment in Cooperstown, and this statue will stand eternally as a tribute to an American hero.”

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 08: Followers maintain indicators commemorating Hank Aaron’s dwelling runs throughout a pregame fiftieth anniversary celebration previous to the sport between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on Monday, April 8, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Postal Service introduced it’s going to launch a stamp picturing Aaron in his batting stance carrying his Atlanta Braves uniform. The date of challenge and dedication ceremony can be introduced later.

Amongst Aaron’s teammates from the 1974 Braves staff who attended the occasion on the Atlanta Historical past Heart had been Dusty Baker, who was on deck when Aaron hit the homer off Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Al Downing, and Tom Home, the reliever who caught the ball within the bullpen.

Baker retired as Houston’s supervisor following the 2023 season.

Billye Aaron joined Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Baker and others on the sphere because the Braves marked the anniversary in a ceremony earlier than Monday evening’s recreation in opposition to the New York Mets. Following a video replay of the document homer, Baker stated “Babe was a nasty dude, however Hank was badder.”

Delta introduced a $150,000 contribution to the Henry Louis Aaron Fund. The Braves had “715” painted on the grass in middle subject.

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 08: Basic view of Truist Park with “715” painted on the sphere in honor of Hank Aaron earlier than the sport between the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets on April 8, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty

The Hank Aaron Invitational is designed to encourage highschool gamers from various backgrounds to play at larger ranges. Alumni of the Hank Aaron Invitational embody Cincinnati pitcher Hunter Greene, who participated in 2015, and Braves outfielder Michael Harris II, who performed in 2018.

Baker referred to Aaron as a father determine who seemed out for him as he started his taking part in profession with the Braves. Baker and different teammates, together with Ralph Garr, tried to guard Aaron as he obtained racist mail and threats throughout the dwelling run chase.

“It makes me proud to see how many individuals he helped, not solely on the sphere however off,” Baker stated Monday.

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 08: A element view of the Hank Aaron ’74 dwelling run document bobblehead offered by Truist and commemorative base previous to the sport between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on Monday, April 8, 2024 in Atlanta, G

Added Garr: “He informed me on a regular basis, ‘I don’t need anyone to neglect Babe Ruth or neglect me both.’”

Related Press professional and school sports activities reporter Charles Odum contributed to this report

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