Thursday, February 19, 2009

Awesome night card, pt. 22

My work schedule runs through a two-week cycle. One week I am busier during the middle of the week. The other week I am busier during the weekend.

This week I am busier during the middle of week, which explains why I haven't been keeping up on my favorite blogs the last few days. I've also been worn down by the news of the sports world. For example, the NBA roundup that I put in today's newspaper included: a lawsuit, an arrest, a suspension and an apology. The NFL roundup featured a death and an arrest (a slow day for the usually lawless NFL).

The baseball roundup? Steroidpalooza. I'm sick of it. And so is everyone else. And that explains why Hank Aaron is growing into an almost mythical figure while he is still alive. Honestly, the way Aaron is treated nowadays is nothing like he was treated even 15 years ago, and 180 degrees away from the way he was treated 35 years ago. I am convinced that after Aaron's death, he will have Jackie Robinson status. Who knows, maybe baseball will be retiring No. 44 for good.

I don't know if I subscribe to the idea that Aaron is the true home run king. To me, the man with the most home runs is the true home run king. But Aaron is certainly the man with the most home runs who isn't a whining, cheating, egotistical, lost-his-morals-in-a-poker-game jerk. And to me, that counts for everything. The real home run champion? Well, that'd be Barry Bonds, I guess. But the man who did things right? That would be Mr. Aaron.

On April 8, 2009, baseball will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run, struck off of Dodgers starter Al Downing and sent into the night sky at Atlanta Stadium. (By the way, a little known fact: the Dodgers committed six errors in that game. SIX. And a passed ball. This is a team that would make it to the World Series that year).

On that day less than two months from now, there will be a lot of talk about Aaron being the real home run champion. But I'll know better. He's not the real home run champion. He's just the real human being.


  1. Lemme guess, NBA lawsuit=Belkin? I wish aliens would abduct his opportunistic ass.

    You're absolutely right about Aaron. When I was a kid growing up in Georgia, Aaron was all right but he was no Ty Cobb. 15 years ago and he's finally bigger than Cobb, but he's no Mickey. He's no Willie. He's no Williams. Now he is turning into a baseball deity right now while we watch. It's kind of weird but I'm not complaining.

    And Barry Bonds is the home run king. He's got more homers, he's the king. If Bud didn't want him to be the king, he should have suspended him. Aaron's up there with Ruth now.

  2. I agree with your comment that Aaron is the "real human being", always was, always will be. Time (as in 15 or 35 years) does a wonderful thing to change societies perspectve on life and ones accomplishments . . . I just wonder what society will think of the "steriods era" in 15 or 35 years. It will bother me if time heals all.

  3. Is that an actual '94 Topps? I never saw that card before.

  4. Yup, it's part of the '94 set. Card No. 715, in fact.

  5. I hate to mention the A-word ... Asterisk...but Mark Ecko had something right going w/ his Bonds ball "touchup". I don't think a title, such as "Home Run King", will change the minds and hearts of millions of fans...TRUE fans...of the game. When Bonds broke the record, nobody cared. It wasn't like back when McGwire broke the Maris record, that was something serious. My professors talked about it during class for crying out loud. But baseball fans know about Henry Aaron, the guy who did it all without HGH and steroids and the rest. To me, it's just a title. Babe Ruth passed it on to Henry Aaron, and then Bonds stole it from Aaron and from baseball.