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Quote of the Day: Hank Aaron on A-Rod's 600th

Aug 4, 2010, 6:07 PM EDT

For those of you so intent on defending the legacy of Hank Aaron every time a new home run milestone is reached: the man doesn't need your defending.

“When you reach that plateau, no matter where it is, whether you’re
playing in the Majors or the Minors, it’s a tremendous accomplishment. It means an awful lot to whoever reaches this achievement . . . It really doesn’t matter what kind of asterisk you put by it — 600 homers is something special.”

Hank Aaron on A-Rod’s milestone, admirably taking the high road, as he just about always does.

And really, why wouldn’t he? When you’ve had the life and career that Hank Aaron has had, you don’t need a record book, an ethical analysis or the arguments of fans or the media to make you feel confident of all you’ve accomplished.  A-Rod could hit 900 homers and it wouldn’t take a lick away from Henry Aaron.

  1. JimmyY - Aug 4, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Amen to that. Looking at that picture, any stories there? I mean he’s choked up like 6 inches from the bottom, no pine tar, no helmet, no batting helmet. I get it, its a picture for a bubble gum card, but choking up 6 inches when the Hammer always had his hands at the bottom, that’s just strange.

  2. Tim's Neighbor - Aug 4, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    I’ve met Hank and he’s always been incredibly polite and humble. If that’s how he judges fellow ballplayers, well, I’m not going to argue with him and neither should hack sports “writers” and blog trolls.

  3. GP - Aug 4, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    Maybe he was just playing pepper, you know, before it was outlawed, and they just snapped the picture. One always chokes up for pepper.

  4. davidc45629 - Aug 4, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Just one example of how good the Hammer was; If you took away all 755 homeruns, he’d still have 3000 hits.

  5. Riddering - Aug 4, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    Agreed. The accomplishments of modern players don’t need to be belittled or constantly contrasted to the
    “pure” records of athletes past in order to keep the latter alive for fans. No one has forgotten the way Babe Ruth changed the game after his single season and career record for homers was passed. So it’ll be the same for all of the greats. The numbers might fade but their illustrious impact and careers will be treasured.

  6. Cam Winston - Aug 4, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    You’re getting ahead of yourself.
    A-Rod will finish with around 800 homers, not 900.
    Here’s hoping that Hank has found peace in his senior years, as he harbored resentment far too long from the bigots of the 60’s & 70’s, hanging on to comments from nimrods that should have been ignored & forgotten long ago.

  7. CYGNUS X-1 - Aug 4, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    Hank may want to be gracious about it but that does not mean fans have to.I say take away the homers he for the rangers.those would be the years he admitted taking them,who knows how long he had been using before then but since he admitted doing it those years then they don’t count. and for those of you whining about how everyone did it and fans did not care,I bet if we had known that the players were juiced we would have cared! it may have been obvious in hindsight but since mcguire had been hitting nearly 50 since his rookie year it did not seem far fetched when he broke the record. but when bonds showed up roided out like he did then it was obvious. I don’t care he has not admitted it or not only a moron would deny way you go from 40 to 80 homers in a year not to mention how bulked up he became in that year. he was a great player before that but ruined his legacy in my book.

  8. Md23Rewls - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    And while we’re at it, we should take away any wins Whitey Ford had when he gouged up the ball, any wins Gaylord Perry had while throwing the spitball, any wins that resulted from stealing signs, any World Championships that were won with steroid users etc.. Sorry 2004/2007 Red Sox, those championships are no longer yours. I am thrilled with this development, I can resurrect the 1918 chant! :)
    History is history, can’t change it.

  9. smokehouse - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    Ain’t it great?. Sammy Sosa hit 60+ homers three times. Now, as he said, he is just waiting for the call from the HOF. Bonds hits 73 homers in one year. The damn record book is now useless. As is the players union and Bud Selig. The hell with all of them. I’m off to see the Class AA Reading Phillies tonight. Pure baseball. Than tomorrow I’ll go see the American Legion Regional finals in Reading, PA with the winner going to the Legion World Series. You can have what’s left of baseball. I’ll just keep my memories of 1950’s baseball. Richie Ashburn, Robin Roberts, Curt Simmons, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Larry Doby, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Chico Carrasquel, Frank Lary, Yogi Berra, Hank Bauer, Nellie Fox and on and on.

  10. MVD - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Actually… it does. If The Hammer says it, it is the truth. Accept it.

  11. Ditto65 - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Watch out for that Crazy Hot Dog Vendor!

  12. fiveiron - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    The body armor the players wear bothers me more than even the steroids. Bonds would come up to the plate, decked out like the Michelin man, lean over the plate, and dare the pitcher to throw inside. Hank Aaron was a no-frills superstar. And all Class.

  13. walk - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    I keep seeing people advocating taking away homeruns of players who tool steroids. Ok i can buy that, but what do you do about the pitchers that took steroids? Add homers to everyone? What about the little league parks half of the teams play in now? Take away a third of homers there? One of voters had an article earlier where he discussed how he was going to vote because of the steroid era, for him he said it came down to two choice vote for no one from that erea or vote for all on the hof ballot. Remember the steroid era started before the first person got caught. Thats a great point on the body armor they wear too fiveiron.

  14. minnesconsin_ad - Aug 5, 2010 at 9:42 AM

    we’re talking about a guy who lived the majority of his life and played half of his professional career in the thick of Jim Crow. Are you suggesting he should have taken that with a grain of salt? Just, you know, shrugged it off? — “shucks, those silly white supremacists are at it again, threatening to lynch me and all that. makes a guy chuckle, ya know? shoooot!”
    right, because that’s a defensible stance.

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