1954-1974
Henry Aaron
Biography
Henry Louis Aaron (born Feb. 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama) is a retired American baseball player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Aaron is best known for setting the Major League record for most home runs in a career (755), surpassing the previous mark of 714 held by Babe Ruth. Aaron also holds the career marks for runs batted in (2,297), extra base hits (1,477), total bases (6,856), and consecutive seasons with 150 or more hits (17). He won one World Series ring with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957, and the National League Most Valuable Player Award the same year. He also earned three Gold Glove Awards and made 24 All-Star appearances.

On April 13, 1954, Aaron made his major league debut and went 0-for-5 against the Cincinnati Reds' Joe Nuxhall. On April 15, 1954, Aaron collected his first major league hit, a single off Cardinals pitcher Vic Raschi. Aaron hit his first Major League home run eight days later, also off Raschi.

Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama. While he was born in a section of town referred to as 'Down the Bay', he spent most of his youth in Toulminville. Aaron attended Central High School as a freshman and a sophomore. There he played outfield and third base on the baseball team and helped lead his team to the Negro High School Championship both years. During this time, he also excelled in football.

Aaron's last two years of high school were spent at the Josephine Allen Institute, a private high school in Alabama. Aaron was so proficient a ballplayer that he was able to play on the Pritchett Athletics, a semi-pro team, as their shortstop and third baseman. After being seen by scout Ed Scott, he then signed a contract with the Mobile Black Bears for $3 a game. His mother would not allow him to travel, so the contract was only for games played in and around the city. It was on the Black Bears that sports agent Bunny Downs found Aaron. 1

Braves Career Highlights
In 1958 Aaron hit .326, with 30 home runs and 95 RBI. He led the Braves to another pennant, but this time they lost a seven-game Series to the Yankees. Aaron finished 3rd in the MVP race, but 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 two-run home runs in the 1st, 6th and 7th innings. It was the only time in his career that he hit three home runs in a game. The feat was achieved at Seals Stadium in San Francisco against the Giants. On June 8, 1961, Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Joe Adcock and Frank Thomas became the first four players ever to hit successive home runs in a game.

Aaron nearly won the triple crown in 1963. He led the league with 44 home runs and 130 RBI and finished second in batting. He became the third player to steal 30 bases and hit 30 home runs in a single season. Despite his impressive year, he again finished third in the MVP voting.

The Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta after the 1965 season. During his days in Atlanta, Aaron reached a number of milestones. Aaron was just the eighth player to hit 500 career home runs. At the time, Aaron was the second youngest player to reach the plateau.

On July 30, 1969 Aaron hit his 537th home run. This moved him into third place on the career home run list behind Willie Mays and Babe Ruth. At the end of the season, Aaron again finished 3rd in the MVP voting.

The next year Aaron reached two career milestones. On May 17, 1970 Aaron collected his 3,000th hit. This was done in a game against the Cincinnati Reds, the team he played his first ever game against. [9] He was the first player get 3,000 career hits and 500 career home runs. Also during the year Aaron established the record for most seasons with 30 or more home runs in the National League (12).

On April 27, 1971 Aaron hit his 600th career home run. On July 31, Aaron hit a home run in the All-Star Game for the first time. He hit his 40th home run of the season against the Giants' Jerry Johnson on August 10. This established a National League record for most seasons with 40 or more home runs (seven). He hit 47 home runs during the season and finished third in MVP voting for the 6th time.

In Atlanta, 53,775 people showed up on April 8, 1974. It was a Braves record for attendance. Aaron hit career home run 715 in the 4th inning off Los Angeles pitcher Al Downing. The ball landed in the Braves bullpen where reliever Tom House caught it. While cannons were fired in celebration, two college students ran alongside Aaron around the base paths. Aaron's mother ran onto the field as well. A few months later, on October 2, 1974, Aaron hit his 733rd and final home run as a Brave.

Led League in BA 1956, 1959
Led League in HR 1957, 1963, 1966-67
Led League in RBI 1957, 1960, 1963, 1966
All-Star in 1954-76
Most Valuable Player Award in 1957
Gold Glove in 1958-60
Hall Of Fame in 1982
 
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