Happy 82nd birthday, Hank Aaron – 44 to Know

Aaron breaks the record

“As far as I’m concerned, (Hank) Aaron is the best ball player of my era. He is to baseball of the last fifteen years what Joe DiMaggio was before him. He’s never received the credit he’s due.” – Mickey Mantle

Mick and Hank

Today is Hank Aaron‘s 82 birthday: 44 to Know from the Bill Chuck Files

  1. Henry Louis Aaron was born on February 5, 1934. He shares a birthday with baseball HOF-er Roberto Alomar, football HOF-er Roger Staubach, and Al Kooper, who should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 
  2. Aaron started his career on April 13, 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves and was the last Negro League player to play in the major leagues. In Aaron’s first season in the majors he wore uniform #5 (and made $5,000 in salary).
  3. In his first game, played at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Aaron went 0-for-5.
  4. In his first at bat, facing Joe Nuxhall, he grounded out to third.
  5. In his first game, Aaron played left field. Andy Pafko was the Braves right fielder, the position that Aaron ending up winning three Gold Gloves.
  6. In his major league career, Aaron played left, right, and centerfield. He also played first, second, and third base; he was also a DH (and a PH).
  7. Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama, just like fellow HOF-er Willie McCovey.
  8. Both Aaron and McCovey wore uniform #44.
  9. Aaron hit 44 homers four times in his career.
  10. Three of the four times he hit 44 homers, Aaron led the league in homers (1957, 1963, and 1966).
  11. In 1963, he tied for the league lead with Willie McCovey.
  12. Aaron hit 45 homers in 1962 and hit his career high, 47, in 1971.
  13. Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs, the most by any player not implicated with PEDs.
  14. Don Drysdale was Aaron’s favorite victim, Hank hit 17 homers against him. Overall, 70 of Aaron’s homers were against future HOF-ers.
  15. Aaron had 100+ RBI 11 times in his career, tied for 11th on the all-time list.
  16. He led the league in RBI four times (1957, 1960, 1963, 1966).
  17. His high was in 1963 when he drove home 132 runs.
  18. Aaron drove him 2297 runs in his career, more than any other player in MLB history. Babe Ruth is next with 2213 RBI. 
  19. Aaron finished his career with 3771 hits, third all-time,trailing only Ty Cobb 4189, and Pete Rose 4256. 
  20. Aaron had 3600 hits as a member of the Braves (the most in franchise history) and 171 as a Brewer.
  21. Aaron played his last game on October 3, 1976, at Milwaukee’s County Stadium as a member of the American League Milwaukee Brewers.
  22. Aaron went 1-for-3 with one RBI in his final game.
  23. He picked up an infield single in his final at bat, which drove home a run. He hit it off the Tigers’ Dave Roberts.
  24. While RetroSheet is missing details on 133 of Aaron’s hits, at this point we do know that he picked the most hits off of Larry Jackson (64).
  25. Aaron had 2294 singles, 10th on the all-time list.
  26. He had 624 doubles, eighth on the all-time list.
  27. He had a team record 600 doubles with the Braves.
  28. He hit 98 triples, the same as fellow HOF-er Andre Dawson.
  29. His 1477 extra-base hits are the most by any player all-time.
  30. He had 18 walkoff hits, nine of which were walkoff homers.
  31. Hank hit 16 grand slams; he hit 390 bases empty homers; he hit 14 extra-inning homers.
  32. He hit 124 1st inning homers (the innings of 17 of his homers are unknown)
  33. Aaron hit 195 homers at Milwaukee’s County Stadium; he hit 190 homers at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium.
  34. Aaron hit 385 homers at home, 370 on the road.
  35. He hit 733 homers as a member of the Braves and 22 as a Brewer.
  36. Aaron hit 398 homers as a Milwaukee Brave, he hit 335 homers as an Atlanta Brave.
  37. Aaron finished his career with 2174 runs scored, tied with Babe Ruth for fourth all-time.
  38. Hank finished his career with 6856 total bases, the most in MLB history. Stan Musial is next on the all-time list with 6134.
  39. Aaron hit .300+ 14 times in his career. He finished with .305 lifetime average.
  40. He led the league in hitting in 1956 (.328) and in 1959 (.355).
  41. In 14 World Series games, Aaron hit .364 with three homers and nine RBI. In 17 postseason games, Aaron hit .362 with six homers and 16 RBI.
  42. Hank was an All-Star 21 times, every year from 1955 through 1975
  43. The one-time MVP was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982 on the first ballot with 97.8% of the vote.
  44. Aaron finished his career with a 142.4 WAR, fifth highest all-time.

Hank in 1953
Arraon 1953