I’m a little late, but I thought I’d honor Barry Bonds surpassing Henry Aaron’s all time home run record with a tip the pencil to Hammerin’ Hank himself.
Maybe it’s that Hank was of the Ali/ Kennedy/Beatles era of relative innocence that we see him as one of our morally uncontaminated American heroes. It seems easier to put the celebrities of back in the day up on a pedestal. Maybe it’s because the media wasn’t as voracious in its appetite for fresh blood every day. Maybe the country still believed in itself with the afterglow of World War II still in sight. The truth is, there aren't many people who can hold up under the intense scrutiny we bring to bear, and the image of our old time heroes are akin to the nostalgic way we look back at our childhood, when everything was "better". It's all bullshit, of course.
Where was I?
I confess to not knowing much about Aaron past the home runs, the gracious demeanor, and that he was in that first wave a black ballplayers who were finally allowed to play outside the Negro League. While today's pro atheletes are suspected of enhancement through pharmacological alleyways, Aaron was said to have gained his enormous forearm strength by carrying ice blocks with tongs while growing up. However he got to where he was, he sure could hit 'em out of the park.