Hank Aaron

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Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron (born February 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama, United States), is an American baseball player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Aaron is best known for setting the Major League Baseball record for most home runs in a career (755), surpassing the previous mark of 714 by Babe Ruth. Aaron also holds the career marks for RBI (2,297), extra base hits (1,477) and total bases (6,856). He won one World Series ring with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957, and the National League Most Valuable Player Award the same year. He also earned three Gold Glove Awards, and made 21 All-Star appearances.

Pre-professional Career

Henry Louis Aaron was born in a part of Mobile, Alabama called Down The Bay. It was a poor area of town populated mostly by minorities. His family later moved to a better part of Mobile called Toulminville, where he was brought up and attended school. In Central High School, Aaron played shortstop and third base and was an outstanding hitter though he batted cross-handed. His team won the Negro High School Championship two years running. In high school, he also excelled in football.

Aaron's last two years of high school were spent at Josephine Allen Institute, a private high school. Aaron was so proficient a ballplayer at this young age that before his fifteenth birthday he was playing on a semi-pro team, the Pritchett Athletics, as their shortstop and third baseman. He made $3 a game. He tried out for the Dodgers but did not get to show his abilities to the scouts there. He then started playing with the semi-pro Mobile Black Bears for $10 a game.

His mother wanted Aaron to attend college in Florida. But with the promise to finish high school, on November 20, 1951 he was signed by scout Ed Scott to play for the Negro American League champion Indianapolis Clowns after the Black Bears played an exhibition against the Clowns the previous year. Aaron helped lead the Clowns to victory in the 1952 Negro League World Series.

Professional Career

Minor Leagues

On June 14, 1952 Aaron's contract was acquired by the Boston Braves for $10,000. He was the last Negro League player to make the jump to the major leagues. Aaron was assigned to the Braves' Class C farm club, the Eau Claire Bears, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where he played second base. He got two line drive singles in his first game and ended the season batting .326, and won the Northern League's Rookie of the Year. He earned $350 a month. In 1953, Aaron, along with Horace Garner and Felix Mantilla, was sent to the Jacksonville Tars to break the color line in the South Atlantic League. Despite enduring non-stop racial epithets and threats, Aaron led the league in runs (115), hits (208), doubles (36), RBI (115), and batting average (.362) to become the league's Most Valuable Player. One writer said, "Henry Aaron led the league in everything except hotel accommodations".

To prepare for the big leagues, Aaron played winter ball in Puerto Rico and learned to play the outfield. On March 13, 1954, Braves left fielder Bobby Thomson broke his ankle sliding into second base during a spring training game. The next day Aaron made his first spring training start for the Braves in left field and hit a home run.

Major Leagues

The Early Years

File:Hankaaron-young.jpg
Hank Aaron team portrait

On April 13, 1954, Aaron made his major league debut and went 0-for-5 against the Cincinnati Reds' Joe Nuxhall. In the same game, Aaron's teammate, Eddie Mathews hit two home runs, the first two of a record 863 home runs the pair would hit as teammates. On April 15, 1954 Aaron got his first major league hit, a single off of Cardinals pitcher Vic Raschi. Aaron hit his first Major League home run on April 23, 1954 off of Raschi. Over the next 122 games, Aaron batted .280 (he would not hit that low again until 1966) with 13 homers (he wouldn't go below 20 for the next 20 years) before suffering a broken ankle on September 5.

In the following season, Aaron was moved to right field, where he played for most of his career, winning three Gold Gloves. 1955 also saw the first of a record-tying 24 All-Star Games for Aaron – only Willie Mays and Stan Musial appeared in as many All-Star Games. On June 24, 1955, Aaron became the first strike out victim of the Brooklyn Dodgers' future Hall of Famer, Sandy Koufax. Koufax came on in relief for the Dodgers on Milwaukee's County Stadium, pitching two shutout innings and fanning two. Aaron finished the season batting .314 with 27 home runs and 106 RBI.

1956 saw Aaron hit .328 to win the first of two NL batting titles. He is also named The Sporting News' NL Player of the Year. Two changes were made in 1957 that had a profound effect on Aaron. First, he went from second in the batting order to fourth, behind Eddie Mathews instead of in front of him, and, second, he switched from a 36-ounce bat to a 34-ounce model. Aaron responded by leading the league with 44 home runs, a career-high 132 RBI, batted .322 and won his only NL MVP Award. During a game on August 15th, Aaron belted his 100th major league home run off of the Reds' Don Gross. On September 23, 1957, Aaron had what he called the best moment of his career. Aaron drilled a pitch from the Cardinals' Billy Muffett for a two-run homer in the 11th inning of a game. It clinched the Braves' first pennant in Milwaukee and Aaron was carried off the field by his teammates. That year, Milwaukee registered its only World Series victory behind right-handed pitcher Lew Burdette, who defeated the Yankees three times. Aaron did his part by hitting .393 with three homers and seven RBI.

The Chase is On

Aaron had another spectacular year in 1958 by hitting .326, with 30 home runs and 95 RBI. He led the Braves to another pennant in, but this time they lost a seven-game Series to the Yankees. Aaron picked up his first Gold Glove and finished 3rd in MVP voting. Hall of Famer, Don Drysdale served up the first of seventeen home runs to Aaron on June 29, 1958 – more than any other pitcher.

On June 21, 1959 Aaron had a single most productive day as a hitter. Against the San Francisco Giants, he hit two-run home runs in the 1st, 6th and 7th inning off of Johnny Antonelli, Stu Miller and Gordon Jones. It was the only time in his career that he would hit three homers in a game. Exactly one month later, on July 21, Aaron appeared on the television show "Home Run Derby." He was paid $30,000 for his appearance – almost as much as his annual salary. The prize money encouraged Aaron to change his approach in hitting and swing for more homers. Aaron defended his decision by saying, "I noticed that they never had a show called "Singles Derby". Eddie Mathews led the league in home runs with 46 and Aaron led the league in hitting with a .355 average and finished 3rd in MVP voting.

July 3, 1960 saw Aaron hit his 200th home run off of the Cardinals' Ron Kline at Sportsman's Park. On June 8, 1961, Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Joe Adcock and Frank Thomas became the first four players ever to hit successive home runs in a game. Aaron and Mathews went back to back off of Reds' pitcher Jim Maloney. Adcock and Thomas hit theirs off of reliever Marshall Bridges. Despite the unprecedented feat, the Braves lost the game 10-8.

On June 18, 1962, Aaron hit what most consider to be the longest home run of his career -- a 470-foot shot to straight-away center at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Only two other players ever hit a ball there – Joe Adcock in 1953 and Lou Brock, who oddly did it the day before Aaron. On April 19, 1963 he hit his 300th home run off of the Mets' Jay Hook. Aaron just missed winning the triple crown in 1963 by leading the league with 44 home runs and 130 RBI. He finished .007 percentage points behind Tommy Davis in batting. Aaron became the 3rd member of the 30-30 club behind Ken Williams and Willie Mays. He again finished 3rd in the MVP voting.

On September 20, 1965, Aaron hit the last home run by a Milwaukee Braves player at Milwaukee County Stadium. It came off Ray Culp of the Phillies. The Braves moved to Atlanta the following season and made Fulton County Stadium their new home. Aaron's home run output increased due to the hitter friendly park – later nicknamed "The Launching Pad".

Aaron hit his 400th home run on April 20, 1966 off Bob Priddy of the San Francisco Giants. On August 23 he homered to set a major league record with Eddie Mathews for most career home runs by teammates (863). The first two batters faced by Nolan Ryan in his career were Mathews and Aaron, on September 11, 1966. Neither of them struck out against Ryan.

In the first game of a double header against the Phillies on May 10, 1967, Aaron hit his only inside the park home run off Jim Bunning. Aaron hit a conventional home run in the second game of the double header off of Larry Jackson.

Aaron hit his 500th home run on July 14, 1968 off Mike McCormick of the San Francisco Giants at Fulton County Stadium. Aaron was just the 8th player to reach the milestone and he did it exactly one year after his former teammate Eddie Mathews did it with the Houston Astros. At the time, Aaron was the second youngest player to ever do so at 34 years, five months and nine days, a year and a half older than the youngest player to do so, Jimmie Foxx.

On July 30, 1969 Aaron hit his 537th home run to move into 3rd place on the career home run list, past Mickey Mantle and behind only Willie Mays and Babe Ruth. The Braves marked the first year of division play by winning the West. They Braves were fifth place on August 19, but outplayed the Giants and Reds down the stretch to win the division. Aaron slugged 44 homers and knocked in 97 runs. The Braves lost to the Miracle Mets in the playoffs, three games to none. Aaron and brother Tommie were the first siblings to appear in a League Championship series together as teammates. Aaron finished 3rd in MVP voting.

Aaron got his 3,000th career hit off of Reds' Wayne Simpson on May 17, 1970 with a single in the second game of a doubleheader at Cincinnati's Crosley Field, becoming the first player to reach that milestone and hit 500 career home runs. On July 31, he hit a home run against Dave Guisti of the Pirates in Atlanta for this 30th homer of the season, establishing a National League record for most seasons with 30 or more homers (12).

1971 saw several milestones for Aaron. On April 27 he hit his 600th career homer off the San Francisco Giants' Gaylord Perry in Atlanta. The greatest home run hitter slugged two homers off the greatest strikeout pitcher, Nolan Ryan, the first of which was on May 21, 1971, in Shea Stadium. On July 31 Aaron homered in an All-Star Game for the first time, connecting off Vida Blue in Detroit. He hit his 40th home run of the season against the Giants' Jerry Johnson on August 10, establishing a National League record for most seasons with 40 or more home runs (seven). On September 21, Aaron homered against the Padres' Jay Franklin for his 46th home run of the season – a new career high. Five days later, he hit his 47th home run, the most he hit in a season. He finished 3rd in MVP voting for the 6th time in his career.

During the strike shortened season of 1972, Aaron tied and then surpassed Willie Mays for second place on the career home run list with home runs on May 31 (648) off of the Padres' Fred Norman and June 10 (649) off of the Phillies' Wayne Twitchell. His home run on June 10 also his 14th grand slam, tying him with Willie McCovey and Gil Hodges for the National League record. On June 28 Aaron hit a two-run homer to tie Lou Gehrig for second place on the all-time RBI list with 1,990. The next day he passes Gehrig with a home run off of the Padres' Mike Caldwell to move into sole possession of second place on the all-time RBI list. Aaron got his 2,000 career RBI when he homered off Astros' Jim York. Aaron tied then surpassed Babe Ruth for the most home runs by a player with a single team when he homered for the 659th time as a Brave on July 19 against the Pirates' Nelson Briles and for the 660th on July 25 against the Reds' Wayne Simpson. At the first All-Star Game in Atlanta, Aaron thrilled the hometown crowd by homering in the sixth inning off the Cleveland Indians' Gaylord Perry. Aaron homered twice against the Phillies to break Stan Musial's major league record for total bases (6,134).

Racism and the Record

File:Hankarron715.jpg
Hank Aaron hitting his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth's record
File:Hank aaron jersey.jpg
Hank Aaron's jersey worn when he broke Babe Ruth's record

The chase to beat the Babe heated up in the summer of 1973 and with it the mail. Aaron needed a secretary to sort it as he received more than an estimated 3,000 letters a day, more than any American outside of politics. Unfortunately, racists initially did much of the writing. A sampling:

"Dear Nigger Henry,
You are (not) going to break this record established by the great Babe Ruth if I can help it. ...
Whites are far more superior than jungle bunnies. My gun is watching your every black move."

"Dear Henry Aaron,
How about some sickle cell anemia, Hank?"

The letters came from every state, but most were postmarked in northern cities. They were filled with hate; more hate than Aaron had ever imagined. "This", Aaron said later about the letters, "changed me".

Aaron hit his 700th home run off of the Phillies' Ken Brett. The 1973 season ended with Aaron at 713 homers after hitting a remarkable 40 in just 392 at-bats. He was 39. The Braves became the first team to have three players hit 40 or more homers in a season. Darrell Evans and Davey Johnson also reached the 40-homer mark.

Over the winter, Aaron endured death threats and a barrage of racist hate mail from people who did not want to see a black man break Ruth's home run record. Lewis Grizzard, then sports editor the Atlanta Journal became so concerned that he had an obituary written just in case. However, when the harassment became widely known, the ballplayer enjoyed a massive flood of public support motivated at least partially to counter the bigotry. This included Babe Ruth's widow who denounced the racists and declared that her husband would have enthusiastically cheered Aaron's attempt at the record. As the 1974 season began, Aaron's pursuit of the home run record caused a small controversy.

The Braves opened the season on the road in Cincinnati with a three game series. Braves management wanted him to break the record in Atlanta. Therefore, they were going to have Aaron sit out the first three games of the season. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ruled that he had to play two out of three. He tied Babe Ruth's record in his very first at bat, but did not hit another home run in the series. The largest crowd in Braves history (53,775) watched Hank Aaron break the record on April 8, 1974 with a home run in the 4th inning off Los Angeles pitcher Al Downing. The ball landed in the Braves bullpen where reliever Tom House caught it. While cannons were firing in celebration and Aaron rounded the bases, two college students appeared and ran alongside of him before security stepped in. Aaron's mother ran onto the field and into the arms of her son, tears brimming in her eyes. Mrs. Aaron wasn't just proud of her son; she rushed the plate because she thought her son had been shot. On October 2, 1974, Aaron hit his 733rd and final home run as a Brave.

One month later, on November 2, 1974, the Braves traded Aaron to the Milwaukee Brewers for Roger Alexander and Dave May. Because the Brewers were an American League team, Aaron could extend his career by taking advantage of the designated hitter rule.

Aaron broke baseball's all time RBI record on May 1, 1975 and on July 20, 1976 Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final home run off the California Angels' Dick Drago.

Post-Playing Career

Template:MLB HoF

Aaron rejoined the Atlanta Braves organization as player development director four days after retiring from baseball. On August 1, 1982 Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, receiving votes on 97.8 percent of the ballots. At the time, only Ty Cobb received a higher percentage (98.2) of votes cast.

Aaron became one of the first blacks in Major League Baseball upper-level management as Atlanta's vice president of player development. Since December 1989, he has served as senior vice president and assistant to the president, but he is more active for Turner Broadcasting as a corporate vice president of community relations and a member of TBS' board of directors. He also is vice president of business development for The Airport Network.

On February 5, 1999, at a celebration for his 65th birthday, Aaron was honored for his achievements as a player and a person. Major League Baseball announced the introduction of the Hank Aaron Award, to be presented annually to the best hitters in the American League and National League. The first major award to be introduced in more than thirty years, it is also the first to be named after a former player still living at the time the award was inaugurated.

In 2002 Aaron received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Aaron attended Game 4 of the 2004 World Series at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri and personally awarded the Hank Aaron Award to winners – Barry Bonds in the NL, Manny Ramirez in the AL.

His autobiography I Had a Hammer was published in 1990. Aaron now owns Hank Aaron BMW of south Atlanta where every car is sold with an autographed baseball.

A statue of Aaron now stands outside the front entrance of Turner Field, where the Braves currently play. (Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, which was Aaron's home park for most of his career, was demolished in 1997, and a parking lot now occupies the site.)

Aaron's jersey number "44" has been retired by both the Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Records and Achievements

  • All-time home run leader: 755
  • All-time games played: 3,298 (at time of retirement, currently 3rd behind Pete Rose and Carl Yastrzemski)
  • All-time at-bats leader: 12,364 (at time of retirement, currently 2nd behind Pete Rose)
  • All-time RBI leader: 2,297
  • All-time total bases leader: 6,856
  • All-time extra-base hits leader: 1,477
  • NL MVP: 1957
  • Gold Glove award: 19581960
  • The Sporting News NL Player of the Year: 1956, 1963
  • NL batting champion: 1956 (.328), 1959 (.355)
  • NL home run champion: 1957 (44), 1963 (44), 1966 (44), 1967 (39)
  • NL RBI leader: 1957 (132), 1960 (126), 1963 (130), 1966 (127)
  • NL total bases leader: 1956 (340), 1957 (369), 1959 (400), 1960 (334), 1961 (358), 1963 (370), 1967 (344), 1969 (332)
  • NL slugging percentage leader: 1959 (.636), 1963 (.586), 1971 (.669)
  • NL runs scored leader: 1957 (118); 1963 (121); 1967(113)
  • Lou Gehrig Memorial Award: 1970
  • NL hits leader: 1956 (200), 1959 (223)
  • NL doubles leader: 1955 (37), 1956 (34), 1961 (39), 1965 (40)
  • Three home runs in one game: June 21, 1959
  • Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame: 1982
  • Third in career hits (3,771)
  • Only player to hit at least 30 home runs in 15 seasons
  • Only player to hit at least 20 home runs in 20 seasons
  • Hit 40 home runs in a season 8 times
  • First player to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs
  • 21 All-Star appearances

Statistics

YEAR TEAM AGE G AB R H 2B 3B HR HR% RBI BB SO SB CS AVG SLG OBA OPS RC RCAA RCAP OWP RC/G TB EBH ISO SEC BPA IBB HBP SAC SF GIDP OUTS PA POS
1954 Braves 20 122 468 58 131 27 6 13 2.78 69 28 39 2 2 0.280 0.447 0.322 0.769 63 2 -3 0.512 4.70 209 46 0.167 0.226 0.451 0 3 6 4 13 362 509 LF
1955 Braves 21 153 602 105 189 37 9 27 4.49 106 49 61 3 1 0.314 0.540 0.366 0.906 113 39 37 0.679 6.86 325 73 0.226 0.311 0.546 5 3 7 4 20 445 665 RF
1956 Braves 22 153 609 106 200 34 14 26 4.27 92 37 54 2 4 0.328 0.558 0.365 0.923 115 39 34 0.679 6.96 340 74 0.230 0.287 0.544 6 2 5 7 21 446 660 RF
1957 Braves 23 151 615 118 198 27 6 44 7.15 132 57 58 1 1 0.322 0.600 0.378 0.978 135 66 64 0.772 8.40 369 77 0.278 0.371 0.612 15 0 0 3 13 434 675 RF
1958 Braves 24 153 601 109 196 34 4 30 4.99 95 59 49 4 1 0.326 0.546 0.386 0.931 120 54 49 0.745 7.53 328 68 0.220 0.323 0.557 16 1 0 3 21 430 664 RF
1959 Braves 25 154 629 116 223 46 7 39 6.20 123 51 54 8 0 0.355 0.636 0.401 1.037 156 82 71 0.794 9.71 400 92 0.281 0.375 0.641 17 4 0 9 19 434 693 RF
1960 Braves 26 153 590 102 172 20 11 40 6.78 126 60 63 16 7 0.292 0.566 0.352 0.919 119 51 49 0.732 7.22 334 71 0.275 0.392 0.598 13 2 0 12 8 445 664 RF
1961 Braves 27 155 603 115 197 39 10 34 5.64 120 56 64 21 9 0.327 0.594 0.381 0.974 131 59 35 0.746 8.02 358 83 0.267 0.380 0.615 20 2 1 9 16 441 671 RF
1962 Braves 28 156 592 127 191 28 6 45 7.60 128 66 73 15 7 0.323 0.618 0.390 1.008 139 64 54 0.752 8.77 366 79 0.296 0.421 0.643 14 3 0 6 14 428 667 CF
1963 Braves 29 161 631 121 201 29 4 44 6.97 130 78 94 31 5 0.319 0.586 0.391 0.977 149 79 61 0.798 8.92 370 77 0.268 0.433 0.648 18 0 0 5 11 451 714 RF
1964 Braves 30 145 570 103 187 30 2 24 4.21 95 62 46 22 4 0.328 0.514 0.393 0.907 112 47 36 0.727 7.36 293 56 0.186 0.326 0.554 9 0 0 2 22 411 634 RF
1965 Braves 31 150 570 109 181 40 1 32 5.61 89 60 81 24 4 0.318 0.560 0.379 0.938 121 51 37 0.729 7.85 319 73 0.242 0.382 0.603 10 1 0 8 15 416 639 RF
1966 Braves 32 158 603 117 168 23 1 44 7.30 127 76 96 21 3 0.279 0.539 0.356 0.895 117 42 32 0.689 6.87 325 68 0.260 0.416 0.590 15 1 0 8 14 460 688 RF
1967 Braves 33 155 600 113 184 37 3 39 6.50 109 63 97 17 6 0.307 0.573 0.369 0.943 126 55 41 0.735 7.75 344 79 0.267 0.390 0.608 19 0 0 6 11 439 669 RF
1968 Braves 34 160 606 84 174 33 4 29 4.79 86 64 62 28 5 0.287 0.498 0.354 0.852 104 45 40 0.736 6.06 302 66 0.211 0.355 0.546 23 1 0 5 21 463 676 RF
1969 Braves 35 147 547 100 164 30 3 44 8.04 97 87 47 9 10 0.300 0.607 0.396 1.003 127 58 41 0.750 8.36 332 77 0.307 0.464 0.635 19 2 0 3 14 410 639 RF
1970 Braves 36 150 516 103 154 26 1 38 7.36 118 74 63 9 0 0.298 0.574 0.385 0.958 115 42 32 0.693 8.15 296 65 0.275 0.436 0.615 15 2 0 6 13 381 598 RF
1971 Braves 37 139 495 95 162 22 3 47 9.49 118 71 58 1 1 0.327 0.669 0.410 1.079 135 73 60 0.804 1.47 331 72 0.341 0.485 0.689 21 2 0 5 9 348 573 1B
1972 Braves 38 129 449 75 119 10 0 34 7.57 77 92 55 4 0 0.265 0.514 0.390 0.904 90 30 20 0.675 6.96 231 44 0.249 0.463 0.572 15 1 0 2 17 349 544 1B
1973 Braves 39 120 392 84 118 12 1 40 1.20 96 68 51 1 1 0.301 0.643 0.402 1.045 103 47 36 0.751 9.72 252 53 0.342 0.515 0.675 13 1 0 4 7 286 465 LF
1974 Braves 40 112 340 47 91 16 0 20 5.88 69 39 29 1 0 0.268 0.491 0.341 0.832 57 14 8 0.616 5.97 167 36 0.224 0.341 0.528 6 0 1 2 6 258 382 LF
1975 Brewers 41 137 465 45 109 16 2 12 2.58 60 70 51 0 1 0.234 0.355 0.332 0.687 55 -6 -8 0.450 3.92 165 30 0.120 0.269 0.406 3 1 1 6 15 379 543 DH
1976 Brewers 42 85 271 22 62 8 0 10 3.69 35 35 38 0 1 0.229 0.369 0.315 0.684 31 -1 -4 0.481 3.8 100 18 0.140 0.266 0.409 1 0 0 2 8 220 308 DH
TOTALS   3298 12364 2174 3771 624 98 755 6.11 2297 1402 1383 240 73 0.305 0.555 0.374 0.928 2533 1032 822 0.719 7.49 6856 1477 0.25 0.376 0.584 293 32 21 121 328 9136 13940  
LG AVG     11637 1479 3062 477 96 298 2.56 1380 1116 1665 158 97 0.263 0.397 0.329 0.727 1533 0 0 0.500 4.53 4625 871 0.134 0.235 0.434 130 72 109 91 264 9136 13026  
POS AVG     11844 1634 3238 519 104 389 3.28 1592 1144 1768 160 92 0.273 0.433 0.338 0.772 1736 202 0 0.551 5.13 5132 1012 0.16 0.262 0.467 147 68 69 96 273 9136 13222  

League Leadership Rankings

1955 NL
GAMES 7TH 153
AT BATS 6TH 602
RUNS 8TH 105
HITS 2ND 189
SINGLES 10TH 116
DOUBLES 1ST 37
TRIPLES 5TH 9
HOME RUNS 10TH 27
RBI 9TH 106
AVERAGE 5TH .314
SLG 9TH .540
OPS 9TH .906
RUNS CREATED 9TH 113
RCAA 7TH 39
RCAP 7TH 37
OWP 8TH .679
TOTAL BASES 6TH 325
EXTRA BASE HITS 5TH 73
ISOLATED POWER 9TH .226
BPA 9TH .546
GIDP 2ND 20
PLATE APPEARANCES 9TH 665
OUTS 7TH 445
1956 NL
GAMES 6TH 153
AT BATS 5TH 609
RUNS 3RD 106
HITS 1ST 200
SINGLES 6TH 126
DOUBLES 1ST 34
TRIPLES 2ND 14
RBI 9TH 92
AVERAGE 1ST .328
SLG 3RD .558
OPS 5TH .923
RUNS CREATED 5TH 115
RCAA 5TH 39
RCAP 6TH 34
OWP 5TH .679
RUNS CREATED/GAME 7TH 6.96
TOTAL BASES 1ST 340
EXTRA BASE HITS 2ND 74
TOTAL AVERAGE 9TH .869
BPA 10TH .544
GIDP 3RD 21
SACRIFICE FLIES 6TH 7
PLATE APPEARANCES 10TH 660
OUTS 9TH 446
1957 NL
GAMES 6TH 151
AT BATS 5TH 615
RUNS 1ST 118
HITS 2ND 198
SINGLES 8TH 121
HOME RUNS 1ST 44
HR/100 OUTS 1ST 10.14
HR/100 PA 2ND 6.52
HR/100 AB 3RD 7.15
RBI 1ST 132
AVERAGE 4TH .322
SLG 3RD .600
OBA 9TH .378
OPS 3RD .978
RUNS CREATED 2ND 135
RCAA 1ST 66
RCAP 2ND 64
OWP 2ND .772
RUNS CREATED/GAME 3RD 8.40
TOTAL BASES 1ST 369
EXTRA BASE HITS 3RD 77
ISOLATED POWER 4TH .278
SECONDARY AVERAGE 6TH .371
TOTAL AVERAGE 3RD .988
BPA 3RD .612
INTENTIONAL WALKS 2ND 15
PLATE APPEARANCES 7TH 675
OUTS 9TH 434
1958 NL
GAMES 2ND 153
AT BATS 5TH 601
RUNS 3RD 109
HITS 3RD 196
SINGLES 4TH 128
DOUBLES 4TH 4
HOME RUNS 5TH 30
HR/100 OUTS 6TH 6.98
HR/100 PA 5TH 4.52
HR/100 AB 6TH 4.99
RBI 6TH 95
AVERAGE 4TH .326
SLG 3RD .546
OBA 6TH .386
OPS 4TH .931
RUNS CREATED 4TH 120
RCAA 2ND 54
RCAP 3RD 49
OWP 2ND .745
RUNS CREATED/GAME 5TH 7.53
TOTAL BASES 3RD 328
EXTRA BASE HITS 3RD 68
ISOLATED POWER 7TH .220
SECONDARY AVERAGE 9TH .323
TOTAL AVERAGE 5TH .916
BPA 3RD .557
INTENTIONAL WALKS 3RD 16
GIDP 2ND 21
PLATE APPEARANCES 4TH 664
OUTS 10TH 430
1959 NL
GAMES 3RD 154
AT BATS 2ND 629
RUNS 4TH 116
HITS 1ST 223
SINGLES 3RD 131
DOUBLES 2ND 46
TRIPLES 8TH 7
HOME RUNS 3RD 39
HR/100 OUTS 3RD 8.99
HR/100 PA 4TH 5.63
HR/100 AB 4TH 6.20
RBI 3RD 123
AVERAGE 1ST .355
SLG 1ST .636
OBA 2ND .401
OPS 1ST 1.037
RUNS CREATED 1ST 156
RCAA 1ST 82
RCAP 1ST 71
OWP 1ST .794
RUNS CREATED/GAME 1ST 9.71
TOTAL BASES 1ST 400
EXTRA BASE HITS 1ST 92
ISOLATED POWER 3RD .281
SECONDARY AVERAGE 6TH .375
TOTAL AVERAGE 1ST 1.089
BPA 1ST .641
INTENTIONAL WALKS 2ND 17
GIDP 4TH 19
SACRIFICE FLIES 2ND 9
PLATE APPEARANCES 3RD 693
1960 NL
GAMES 4TH 153
AT BATS 5TH 590
RUNS 5TH 102
HITS 6TH 172
TRIPLES 4TH 11
HOME RUNS 2ND 40
HR/100 OUTS 2ND 8.99
HR/100 PA 2ND 6.02
HR/100 AB 3RD 6.78
RBI 1ST 126
WALKS 10TH 60
STOLEN BASES 7TH 16
CAUGHT STEALING 10TH 7
SLG 2ND .566
OPS 5TH .919
RUNS CREATED 3RD 119
RCAA 3RD 51
RCAP 2ND 49
OWP 4TH .732
RUNS CREATED/GAME 5TH 7.22
TOTAL BASES 1ST 334
EXTRA BASE HITS 2ND 71
ISOLATED POWER 3RD .275
SECONDARY AVERAGE 4TH .392
TOTAL AVERAGE 4TH .935
BPA 3RD .598
INTENTIONAL WALKS 3RD 13
SACRIFICE FLIES 1ST 12
PLATE APPEARANCES 8TH 664
OUTS 6TH 445
1961 NL
GAMES 1ST 155
AT BATS 3RD 603
RUNS 3RD 115
HITS 3RD 197
SINGLES 8TH 114
DOUBLES 1ST 39
TRIPLES 5TH 10
HOME RUNS 6TH 34
HR/100 OUTS 6TH 7.71
HR/100 PA 7TH 5.07
HR/100 AB 8TH 5.64
RBI 4TH 120
STOLEN BASES 4TH 21
CAUGHT STEALING 4TH 9
AVERAGE 5TH .327
SLG 3RD .594
OBA 8TH .381
OPS 3RD .974
RUNS CREATED 2ND 131
RCAA 2ND 59
RCAP 5TH 35
WP 3RD .746
RUNS CREATED/GAME 7TH 8.02
TOTAL BASES 1ST 358
EXTRA BASE HITS 1ST 83
ISOLATED POWER 5TH .267
SECONDARY AVERAGE 4TH .380
TOTAL AVERAGE 4TH .993
BPA 3RD .615
INTENTIONAL WALKS 3RD 20
GIDP 10TH 16
SACRIFICE FLIES 2ND 9
PLATE APPEARANCES 3RD 671
OUTS 7TH 441
1962 NL
RUNS 4TH 127
HITS 6TH 191
DOUBLES 10TH 28
HOME RUNS 2ND 45
HR/100 OUTS 2ND 10.51
HR/100 PA 2ND 6.75
HR/100 AB 2ND 7.60
RBI 4TH 128
AVERAGE 5TH .323
SLG 2ND .618
OBA 5TH .390
OPS 2ND 1.008
RUNS CREATED 3RD 139
RCAA 2ND 64
RCAP 2ND 54
OWP 2ND .752
RUNS CREATED/GAME 2ND 8.77
TOTAL BASES 3RD 366
EXTRA BASE HITS 3RD 79
ISOLATED POWER 2ND .296
SECONDARY AVERAGE 4TH .421
TOTAL AVERAGE 3RD 1.050
BPA 3RD .643
INTENTIONAL WALKS 3RD 14
SACRIFICE FLIES 10TH 6
1963 NL
GAMES 4TH 161
AT BATS 5TH 631
RUNS 1ST 121
HITS 2ND 201
DOUBLES 10TH 29
HOME RUNS 1ST 44
HR/100 OUTS 2ND 9.76
HR/100 PA 2ND 6.16
HR/100 AB 2ND 6.97
RBI 1ST 130
WALKS 3RD 78
STOLEN BASES 2ND 31
AVERAGE 3RD .319
SLG 1ST .586
OBA 2ND .391
OPS 1ST .977
RUNS CREATED 1ST 149
RCAA 1ST 79
RCAP 1ST 61
OWP 1ST .798
RUNS CREATED/GAME 1ST 8.92
TOTAL BASES 1ST 370
EXTRA BASE HITS 1ST 77
ISOLATED POWER 3RD .268
SECONDARY AVERAGE 1ST .433
TOTAL AVERAGE 1ST 1.063
BPA 1ST .648
INTENTIONAL WALKS 2ND 18
PLATE APPEARANCES 2ND 714
1964 NL
RUNS 4TH 103
HITS 8TH 187
SINGLES 8TH 131
HOME RUNS 9TH 24
HR/100 OUTS 10TH 5.84
RBI 10TH 95
WALKS 9TH 62
STOLEN BASES 6TH 22
AVERAGE 3RD .328
SLG 8TH .514
OBA 3RD .393
OPS 6TH .907
RUNS CREATED 7TH 112
RCAA 5TH 47
RCAP 6TH 36
OWP 6TH .727
RUNS CREATED/GAME 6TH 7.36
SECONDARY AVERAGE 7TH .326
TOTAL AVERAGE 6TH .912
BPA 8TH .554
GIDP 2ND 22
1965 NL
RUNS 5TH 109
HITS 10TH 181
DOUBLES 1ST 40
HOME RUNS 6TH 32
HR/100 OUTS 4TH 7.69
HR/100 PA 5TH 5.01
HR/100 AB 6TH 5.61
STOLEN BASES 6TH 24
AVERAGE 2ND .318
SLG 2ND .560
OBA 5TH .379
OPS 2ND .938
RUNS CREATED 3RD 121
RCAA 3RD 51
RCAP 5TH 37
OWP 2ND .729
RUNS CREATED/GAME 2ND 7.85
TOTAL BASES 4TH 319
EXTRA BASE HITS 3RD 73
ISOLATED POWER 6TH .242
SECONDARY AVERAGE 4TH .382
TOTAL AVERAGE 2ND .980
BPA 2ND .603
SACRIFICE FLIES 4TH 8
1966 NL
GAMES 6TH 158
RUNS 2ND 117
HOME RUNS 1ST 44
HR/100 OUTS 3RD 9.57
HR/100 PA 2ND 6.40
HR/100 AB 2ND 7.30
RBI 1ST 127
WALKS 3RD 76
STOLEN BASES 7TH 21
SLG 6TH .539
OPS 8TH .895
RUNS CREATED 4TH 117
RCAA 8TH 42
RCAP 7TH 32
OWP 8TH .689
RUNS CREATED/GAME 8TH 6.87
TOTAL BASES 4TH 325
EXTRA BASE HITS 5TH 68
ISOLATED POWER 5TH .260
SECONDARY AVERAGE 3RD .416
TOTAL AVERAGE 6TH .929
BPA 4TH .590
INTENTIONAL WALKS 4TH 15
SACRIFICE FLIES 2ND 8
PLATE APPEARANCES 6TH 688
1967 NL
GAMES 9TH 155
AT BATS 6TH 600
RUNS 1ST 113
HITS 6TH 184
DOUBLES 2ND 37
HOME RUNS 1ST 39
HR/100 OUTS 2ND 8.88
HR/100 PA 1ST 5.83
HR/100 AB 2ND 6.50
RBI 3RD 109
STOLEN BASES 10TH 17
AVERAGE 8TH .307
SLG 1ST .573
OPS 3RD .943
RUNS CREATED 1ST 126
RCAA 2ND 55
RCAP 5TH 41
OWP 4TH .735
RUNS CREATED/GAME 4TH 7.75
TOTAL BASES 1ST 344
EXTRA BASE HITS 1ST 79
ISOLATED POWER 1ST .267
SECONDARY AVERAGE 5TH .390
TOTAL AVERAGE 2ND .965
BPA 2ND .608
INTENTIONAL WALKS 5TH 19
SACRIFICE FLIES 7TH 6
PLATE APPEARANCES 7TH 669
1968 NL
GAMES 4TH 160
RUNS 10TH 84
HITS 10TH 174
DOUBLES 6TH 33
HOME RUNS 5TH 29
HR/100 OUTS 5TH 6.26
HR/100 PA 6TH 4.29
HR/100 AB 6TH 4.79
RBI 7TH 86
WALKS 8TH 64
STOLEN BASES 4TH 28
SLG 4TH .498
OPS 5TH .852
RUNS CREATED 4TH 104
RCAA 2ND 45
RCAP 2ND 40
OWP 3RD .736
RUNS CREATED/GAME 5TH 6.06
TOTAL BASES 2ND 302
EXTRA BASE HITS 2ND 66
ISOLATED POWER 5TH .211
SECONDARY AVERAGE 4TH .355
TOTAL AVERAGE 4TH .852
BPA 3RD .546
INTENTIONAL WALKS 3RD 23
GIDP 1ST 21
1969 NL
RUNS 10TH 100
DOUBLES 10TH 30
HOME RUNS 2ND 44
HR/100 OUTS 2ND 10.73
HR/100 PA 2ND 6.89
HR/100 AB 2ND 8.04
RBI 7TH 97
WALKS 7TH 87
CAUGHT STEALING 5TH 10
SLG 2ND .607
OBA 7TH .396
OPS 2ND 1.003
RUNS CREATED 3RD 127
RCAA 4TH 58
RCAP 5TH 41
OWP 6TH .750
RUNS CREATED/GAME 5TH 8.36
TOTAL BASES 1ST 332
EXTRA BASE HITS 1ST 77
ISOLATED POWER 2ND .307
SECONDARY AVERAGE 3RD .464
TOTAL AVERAGE 3RD 1.032
BPA 2ND .635
INTENTIONAL WALKS 2ND 19
1970 NL
RUNS 9TH 103
HOME RUNS 5TH 38
HR/100 OUTS 2ND 9.97
HR/100 PA 3RD 6.35
HR/100 AB 4TH 7.36
RBI 5TH 118
SLG 7TH .574
OPS 6TH .958
RCAA 10TH 42
OWP 7TH .693
RUNS CREATED/GAME 6TH 8.15
EXTRA BASE HITS 9TH 65
ISOLATED POWER 4TH .275
SECONDARY AVERAGE 5TH .436
TOTAL AVERAGE 6TH 1.016
BPA 5TH .615
INTENTIONAL WALKS 5TH 15
1971 NL
RUNS 6TH 95
HOME RUNS 2ND 47
HR/100 OUTS 1ST 13.51
HR/100 PA 1ST 8.20
HR/100 AB 1ST 9.49
RBI 3RD 118
AVERAGE 5TH .327
SLG 1ST .669
OBA 3RD .410
OPS 1ST 1.079
RUNS CREATED 2ND 135
RCAA 2ND 73
RCAP 3RD 60
OWP 2ND .804
RUNS CREATED/GAME 1ST 10.47
TOTAL BASES 2ND 331
EXTRA BASE HITS 2ND 72
ISOLATED POWER 1ST .341
SECONDARY AVERAGE 3RD .485
TOTAL AVERAGE 1ST 1.178
BPA 1ST .689
INTENTIONAL WALKS 1ST 21
1972 NL
HOME RUNS 4TH 34
HR/100 OUTS 1ST 9.74
HR/100 PA 1ST 6.25
HR/100 AB 1ST 7.57
WALKS 4TH 92
SLG 5TH .514
OBA 4TH .390
OPS 5TH .904
OWP 8TH .675
RUNS CREATED/GAME 5TH 6.96
ISOLATED POWER 5TH .249
SECONDARY AVERAGE 1ST .463
TOTAL AVERAGE 5TH .945
BPA 6TH .572
INTENTIONAL WALKS 3RD 15
GIDP 7TH 17


1973 NL
HOME RUNS 4TH 40
RUNS CREATED 9TH 103
RCAA 5TH 47
RCAP 9TH 36


Trivia

Despite hitting more career home runs than any other player, Hank Aaron's single-season high was 47. This figure puts him in a tie for the 64th-best season mark by a hitter. His second-best total, 45, is only tied for 100th-best. However, the compensating fact is his career was remarkably stable with no major absences or interruptions such as medical leaves. This enabled him to make his records with a steady accumulation of points that more flamboyant players were unable to match.

Although Hank Aaron is still the all time home run hitter in Major League Baseball, he is second under former Japanese baseball player Sadaharu Oh (868) as the all time home run hitter in recorded baseball history (Negro League player Josh Gibson was said to have also hit well over 800 home runs, but recordkeeping in the Negro Leagues was fragmentary).

For 50 years, from 1954 to 2004, Henry Aaron was baseball's premiere player.... from an alphabetical standpoint. (In an uncategorizable oddity, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar still holds the same position in the NBA. The odds are lengthy that baseball's all-time HR and RBI leader would also happen to be its all-time #1 alphabetical player; that the NBA's points leader held the same distinction is astronomically unlikely.)

Incidentally, Aaron's brother Tommie was #2 in this esoteric category. Both Aarons were bumped down one notch in baseball's player register in April 2004, when San Francisco Giants relief pitcher David Aardsma made his debut.

It is jokingly said that Hank Aaron has an Erdős number of 1 because he and Paul Erdős both autographed the same baseball when Emory University awarded them honorary degrees on the same day.

See also

External links

es:Hank Aaron fr:Hank Aaron gl:Hank Aaron nl:Hank Aaron ja:ハンク・アーロン simple:Hank Aaron sv:Hank Aaron zh:漢克·阿倫