Hank Aaron

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Hank Aaron : biography

February 5, 1934 –

Prime of his career

In 1955, Aaron made his first All-Star team; it was the first of a record 25 All-Star Game appearances. He finished the season with a .314 average, 27 home runs and 106 RBI. Aaron hit .328 in 1956 and captured first of two NL batting titles. He was also named The Sporting News NL Player of the Year.

In 1957, Aaron won his only NL MVP Award. He batted .322 and led the league in home runs and runs batted in. On September 23, 1957, Aaron hit a two-run game-ending home run in Milwaukee, clinching the pennant for the Braves and being carried off the field by his teammates. Milwaukee went on to win the World Series against the New York Yankees. Aaron did his part by hitting .393 with three homers and seven RBI.

In 1958, Aaron hit .326, with 30 home runs and 95 RBIs. He led the Braves to another pennant, but this time they lost a seven-game World Series to the Yankees. Aaron finished third in the MVP race, but he picked up his first Gold Glove.

During the next several years, Aaron had some of his best games and best seasons as a major league player. On June 21, 1959 against the San Francisco Giants, he hit three two-run home runs. It was the only time in his career that he hit three home runs in a game.Hank Aaron and the Home Run that changed America, Tom Stanton, p.142, ISBN 978-0-06-072290-6

Aaron nearly won the triple crown in 1963. He led the league with 44 home runs and 130 RBI and finished third in batting average.His average was .319, .007 behind the leader, Tommy Davis. In that season, Aaron became the third player to steal 30 bases and hit 30 home runs in a single season. Despite that, he again finished third in the MVP voting.

Aaron was the first player to hit 500 home runs and reach 3,000 hits.http://baseball-almanac.com

The Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta after the 1965 season.

Home run milestones and 3,000th hit

During his days in Atlanta, Aaron reached a number of milestones; he was only the eighth player ever to hit 500 career home runs, with his 500th coming against Mike McCormick of the San Francisco Giants on July 14, 1968—exactly one year after former teammate Eddie Mathews had hit his 500th. He was, at the time, the second-youngest player to attain that plateau.Aaron was 34 years, five months and nine days old. Jimmy Foxx was the youngest to reach the mark at the time. Since then, Alex Rodriguez has become the youngest to reach this mark.

On July 31, 1969, Aaron hit his 537th home run, passing Mickey Mantle; this moved him into third place on the career home run list, after Willie Mays and Babe Ruth. At the end of the season, Aaron again finished third in the MVP voting.

The 1970 season saw Aaron reach two more career milestones. On May 17, Aaron collected his 3,000th hit, in a game against the Cincinnati Reds, the team against which he played his first game.Hank Aaron and the Home Run that changed America, Tom Stanton, p.202, ISBN 978-0-06-072290-6 He was the first player to get 3,000 career hits and 500 career home runs. Also during that year, Aaron established the record for most seasons with thirty or more home runs in the National League.

On April 27, 1971, Aaron hit his 600th career home run, the third player ever to do so. On July 31, Aaron hit a home run in the All-Star Game (played at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium) for the first time. He hit his 40th home run of the season against the Giants’ Jerry Johnson on August 10, which established a National League record for most seasons with 40 or more home runs (seven). At age 37, he hit a career-high 47 home runs during the season (along with a career-high .669 slugging percentage) and finished third in MVP voting for the sixth time.

During the strike-shortened season of 1972, Aaron tied and then surpassed Willie Mays for second place on the career home run list. Aaron also knocked in the 2,000th run of his career and hit a home run in the first All-Star game played in Atlanta. As the year came to a close, Aaron broke Stan Musial’s major league record for total bases (6,134).