Dan's Data: Aaron Remains The True Home Run King • Latino Sports


Dan’s Data: Aaron Remains The True Home Run King


CHICAGO — Never mind Willie, Mickey, or the Duke. Henry Louis Aaron topped them all.

Hank at 80

Hank Aaron may be 80 but he still swings a mean stick

Forty years after he broke the most coveted record in sports, Hank Aaron remains the real home run king.

He didn’t use need performance-enhacing drugs; his work ethic and his statistical accomplishments stand for themselves.

Hank Aaron had more runs, runs batted in, and total bases than any other player. Ignored and underrated because he never played in a media town on either coast, he suffered an onslaught of hate mail as a black man pursuing a white man’s record. But he managed to persevere all the way to 755 career home runs.

Sure, Barry Bonds hit 762, including 73 in one drug-tainted season, but few baseball insiders consider him anything but an interloper who cheated the game and distorted its history. The guy can’t even get into the Hall of Fame and probably never will.

Aaron, on the other hand, deserves the pedestal that places him head and shoulders above all other players. He was consistent, never hitting more than 47 homers in a season, and humble, a trait Barry Bonds completely lacks. Look up the word dignity in the dictionary and Aaron’s picture might appear next to it.

Hank Aaron, even at 80, still has class. He let his accomplishments speak for him. There may never be another player quite like No. 44. All of us are lucky to share his lifetime.

Also on the baseball beat:

Tough luck for the rebuilding Royals: veteran second baseman Omar Infante will be out indefinitely after a Heath Bell pitch struck his chin Monday night . . .

Yunel Escobar's contract was extended by the Rays

Yunel Escobar’s contract was extended by the Rays

Shortstop Yunel Escobar couldn’t play for Bobby Cox in Atlanta but has found a home with Joe Maddon’s Tampa Bay Rays, who just extended his contract . . .

Catchers are falling like flies. Already out for at least a month are Wilson Ramos (Nationals), Geovany Soto (Rangers), and A.J. Ellis (Dodgers) . . .

Look for the Dodgers to promote former big-league receiver Miguel Olivo and for free agent Yorvit Torrealba to find a taker soon . . .

Landing infielder Eduardo Nunez from the Yankees looks like a steal for the NUNEZcardMinnesota Twins, who yielded only lefty reliever Miguel Solboran . . .

The Twins made a big-money offer to Ervin Santana before the pitcher jumped to the National League Braves. He’ll make his Atlanta debut tomorrow against the Mets . . .

Former Braves starter Tommy Hanson, whose velocity has all but disappeared, has signed with the pitching-poor Chicago White Sox . . .

Hard-hitting Hanley Ramirez is more likely to accept an extension from the Dodgers than to see what the Yankees might offer him as Derek Jeter’s successor next season . . .HANLEY

Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays) has already hit as many home runs this season than in the entire year he spent in Atlanta . . .

Micah Owings, who hits better than he pitches, is now with the Miami Marlins. Whether he’ll pitch or play the outfield — or both — remains to be seen . . .

First baseman/DH Kendrys Morales, whose power should appeal to somebody, is still waiting for a decent offer. Ditto shortstop Stephen Drew, another Scott Boras client.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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