Friday!!! time for a post of an American Hero! today with the help of poetry we take a look at:
Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron (1934)
Born in Mobile, Alabama
To Herbert and Estelle Aaron.
Is one of seven siblings
This is where he did begin.
Hank and his brother Tommy
They both went on to play.
Together they hold the record
For most homeruns that stands today.
Growing up his family poor
His balls were bottle caps.
Even then his love for baseball
Was using sticks instead of bats.
He attended Central High School
Where even football did excel.
Was offered several scholarships
Destined for fame one could tell.
Signed with the Indianapolis Clowns
His major league career had begun.
On November twentieth
The Boston Braves bought his contract
Ten thousand dollars it would be.
Married his sweetheart Barbara Lewis
On October sixth in fifty-three.
Nicknamed the “Hammer”
Or “Hammerin Hank.”
His consistency in playing
Among the top he ranks.
In June of two-thousand-two
Hank Aaron would become.
Awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor
The Presidential Metal of Freedom.
In what major baseball officials
Calls a long overdue oversight.
An additional fifty homeruns
Would make Hank Aaron’s record right.
A hero in American baseball
Hangs in the Hall of Fame.
Fifth on the list of greatest players
Forever will live his name.
AUTHOR NOTES: Hank Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama to Herbert and Estella Aaron. By the time his parents were finished having children, Aaron had seven siblings; Tommie Aaron, one of his brothers, also went on to play Major League Baseball. By the time Aaron retired, he and his brother held the record for most career home runs by a pair of siblings (768).
They were also the first siblings to appear in a League Championship Series as teammates. While he was born in a section of town referred to as ‘Down the Bay’, he spent most of his youth in Toulminville. Aaron grew up poor and his family couldn’t afford baseball equipment so he had to hit bottle caps with sticks. Aaron attended Central High School as a freshman and a sophomore. There he played outfield and third base on the baseball team and helped lead his team to the Negro High School Championship both years. During this time, he also excelled in football. His success on the football field led to several football scholarship offers. However, Aaron turned these down to pursue a career in major league baseball. Although he batted cross-handed (that is, as a right-handed hitter, with his left hand above his right), a somewhat unconventional batting method, Aaron had already established himself as a top power hitter. As a result, in 1949, at the age of 15, Aaron had his first tryout with a MLB franchise. Aaron tried to make the Brooklyn Dodgers; however, his tryout did not go well and he did not make the team. After the tryout, Aaron returned to school to finish his secondary education. His last two years were spent at the Josephine Allen Institute, a private high school in Alabama. During his junior year, Aaron joined the Mobile Black Bears, an independent Negro league team. While on the Bears, Aaron earned $10 per game. Aaron’s major league career began on November 20, 1951, baseball scout Ed Scott signed Aaron to a contract on behalf of the Indianapolis Clowns. 1953 also proved beneficial to Aaron off the field. Aaron met a woman by the name of Barbara Lewis. The night he met her, Lewis decided to attend the Tars’ game. Aaron singled, doubled, and hit a home run in the game. On October 6, 1953, Aaron and Lewis were married. In July 2000 and again in July 2002, Aaron threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, played at Turner Field and Miller Park, respectively. In June 2002, Aaron received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Statues of Aaron stand outside the front entrance of both Turner Field and Miller Park. Aaron also has a statue of him as an 18-year-old shortstop outside of Carson Park in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he played his first season in the Braves’ minor league system. In April 1997, a new baseball facility for the AA Mobile Bay Bears constructed in Aaron’s hometown of Mobile, Alabama was named Hank Aaron Stadium. In 2006, a recreational trail in Milwaukee connecting Miller Park with Lake Michigan along the Menomonee River was dedicated as the “Hank Aaron State Trail.” Hank Aaron was on hand for the dedication along with Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, who at the ceremony described himself as a boyhood fan of Aaron’s. During his professional career, Aaron performed at a consistently high level for an extended period of time. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is the only player to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least 15 times. He is one of only four players to have at least 17 seasons with 150 or more hits. Aaron made the All-Star team every year from 1955 until 1975 and won three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. In 1957 he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award, while that same year, the Milwaukee Braves won the World Series. It was Aaron’s one World Series victory during his career as a player. Aaron’s consistency helped him to establish a number of important hitting records during his 23-year career. Aaron holds the MLB records for the most career runs batted in To honor Aaron’s contributions to Major League Baseball, MLB created the Hank Aaron Award, an annual award given to the hitters voted the most effective in each respective league. He is the last Negro league baseball player to play in the major leagues. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility. In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Hank Aaron 5th on their list of “Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players”. That same year, baseball fans named Aaron to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. MILWAUKEE—In what Major League Baseball officials are calling a “long overdue correction of a gross oversight,” Commissioner Bud Selig announced Tuesday the discovery that Hall of Famer Hank Aaron had in fact accumulated 50 previously unaccounted-for home runs during his illustrious 22-year baseball career, bringing his once record total of 755 to an even higher 805 and putting the all-time home-run record perhaps forever out of reach. “Hank Aaron is a hero, an excellent man, and a great ambassador for the game of baseball,” Selig said during a press conference to announce the findings. “We’re proud to have finally set things right, hopefully once and for all. And I have to tell you, some of the home runs that we discovered were just monster shots. One was hit off of [Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher] Harvey Haddix that went 576 feet, and Hank wasn’t even that big of a guy. Just naturally strong and gifted, I guess.”