40th Anniversary – Babe Ruth Passes The Crown

40th Anniversary – Babe Ruth Passes The Crown

This week, the Atlanta Braves celebrate their opening day at Turner Field. As part of their April 8th home field kickoff, the Braves intend to pay homage to Hank Aaron and the 40th anniversary of the record that he captured from Babe Ruth – 714 career home runs. On April 8th, 1974, Aaron hit his 715th home run off Al Downing of the LA Dodgers. The breaking of this particular record was significant in many ways: the career home run record was the pinnacle of baseball achievements and was a “passing of the torch” moment that all of America followed; it had belonged to the great Bambino since he established it with his retirement 39 years earlier in 1935; lastly, it was a powerful example of African American excellence in sports and a recognition of how earlier civil rights efforts helped to make this moment possible. Sadly, there was a lot of hatred and prejudice leading up to the event, primarily targeted at Hammerin’ Hank. Due to death threats leading up to the record-breaking feat, Aaron was forced to hire a body guard, as well as temporarily relocate to protect him and his family. Unfortunately, for Aaron, the feeling of happiness and pride over his achievement was clouded by the relief felt to be done with the pressure and hate mail.

We asked Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe’s daughter, how she think Ruth would have felt about his career home run record being broken by Hank Aaron. She responded, “I think Daddy would have been happy for him. Daddy always used to say, ‘Records are made to be broken.'” Congratulations again to “Hammerin'” Hank – a man we know was steroid-free during his career!

In recognition of Hank surpassing the Babe, for this week only, we’re offering free shipping on “The Original Home Run King” t-shirts.

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