LADY AT THE BAT: Aaron Saying A Lot Without Saying Much

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Aaron Saying A Lot Without Saying Much

Hank Aaron was interviewed on ESPN's Cold Pizza yesterday, and said he is very proud of the way he broke Babe Ruth's home run record. He's proud of the fact that he did it on a consistent basis, over a long period of time, never hitting more than 44 home runs in a single season. As for Barry Bonds breaking his record, he claimed he doesn't keep up with what the Giants slugger is trying to do.

Aaron told Dana Jacobson that, if and when Bonds breaks the record, he'll be on the golf course, or touring Europe with his wife. Though he does think Bonds should be given the benefit of the doubt until any proof of steroid use is uncovered, it's very obvious to anyone that was born yesterday that, were it not for this cloud of suspicion over him, Hank Aaron would be cheering just as much (if not more) than anyone for Barry Bonds to break the all-time home run record.

I really feel for Aaron, having to watch all of this unfold. This is a man who came from the segregated south and left home while still a teenager to play in the Negro Leagues. His consistent play in the Majors was met with hate mail and death threats, not because he was an arrogant son-of-a-bitch like Bonds, but because he was a black man trying to make a living playing baseball.

I remember seeing a photograph of a teenaged Aaron, taken shortly after he left home to join the Negro Leagues. In it he looks wide-eyed and a bit overwhelmed. I'm sure the boy in that picture simply wanted to make enough money to be able to sit down in a retaurant and order pork chops. Years later he smiled when he said that pork chops were the only things he could think of to order at that age!

You can watch the complete interview here.

The Lady

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I have a world of respect for Hank Aaron, especially given what he had to go through. That being said, I was a big Willie Mays fan growing up and feel that if he hadn't been condemned to Candlestick and could have remained playing at the Polo Grounds (anywhere but Candlestick!), Bonds would be chasing Willie's record and chasing it in vain....great blog, make that two great blogs!