Hank Aaron has passed away

ifmanis5

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Incredible wrist strength, super durable, consistent and yet somehow underrated. Humble and dignified always. A pro's pro, RIP to the king.
 

Kliq

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Was Aaron the best hitter ever?
Without comparing eras; there are plenty of players who were better at their peaks (Ruth, Bonds, Ted, Gehrig, Mantle, etc.) but what separates Aaron from those guy's was his unbelievable consistency and durability. Williams would probably have been able to have that kind of longevity because he was so good in his final season, but he did miss seasons due to the war(s) which shouldn't really be held against him, but it does allow Aaron to enter into kind of a class of his own when it comes to longevity.

Aaron was also a good defensive player in his prime and also was a very good baserunner during an era when the stolen base was not in vogue. If he played in a more running-friendly era he could have had multiple 40/40 seasons.

If you get rid of his rookie season and his age 40+ years, you get 19 seasons of consistent, borderline-MVP level production. No missed time, no one or two bad seasons. Excellence every year, for two decades. If you were starting a team, you would be tempted to take that over any other player in history, who may have a higher peak but will never match the durability.
 

terrynever

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Without comparing eras; there are plenty of players who were better at their peaks (Ruth, Bonds, Ted, Gehrig, Mantle, etc.) but what separates Aaron from those guy's was his unbelievable consistency and durability. Williams would probably have been able to have that kind of longevity because he was so good in his final season, but he did miss seasons due to the war(s) which shouldn't really be held against him, but it does allow Aaron to enter into kind of a class of his own when it comes to longevity.

Aaron was also a good defensive player in his prime and also was a very good baserunner during an era when the stolen base was not in vogue. If he played in a more running-friendly era he could have had multiple 40/40 seasons.

If you get rid of his rookie season and his age 40+ years, you get 19 seasons of consistent, borderline-MVP level production. No missed time, no one or two bad seasons. Excellence every year, for two decades. If you were starting a team, you would be tempted to take that over any other player in history, who may have a higher peak but will never match the durability.
You put my unformed thoughts into words. Nice post.
 

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View: https://twitter.com/craigjedwards/status/1352680047140888582?s=21


The lowest trine of Henry Aaron’s career is worthy of a section of its own of just how good it is historically.

As Craig mentions, by WAR, it’s 30.7. Flawed a stat as it may given inconsistencies in evaluating fielding, let’s put that into perspective:

By bWAR, that’s equal to the peak of the *best* 7 seasons of Sam Rice, HOF. Ditto Ross Youngs (30.5) and Harry Hooper (30.0), both HOF. It exceeds the entire career marks of four members of the Hall of Fame: Lee Smith (28.9), Trevor Hoffman (28.0), Lloyd Waner (27.9), and Freddie Lindstrom (27.5).

143 wRC+? If that was his career mark/rate alone, that would be tied for 49th all time with names like Albert Pujols, Roger Connor, and longtime teammate Eddie Mathews.

28 homers? You know how many players have 7+ 28+ homer seasons? 65.

Greenberg his whole career only had 6 such seasons. Jim Rice, Bench, Cepeda, Santo? 5. Rolen, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Yaz? 4.
 

jmcc5400

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.362/.405/.710 in 17 post season games. He didn't come here to read.

RIP, Henry.
 

terrynever

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View: https://twitter.com/craigjedwards/status/1352680047140888582?s=21


The lowest trine of Henry Aaron’s career is worthy of a section of its own of just how good it is historically.

As Craig mentions, by WAR, it’s 30.7. Flawed a stat as it may given inconsistencies in evaluating fielding, let’s put that into perspective:

By bWAR, that’s equal to the peak of the *best* 7 seasons of Sam Rice, HOF. Ditto Ross Youngs (30.5) and Harry Hooper (30.0), both HOF. It exceeds the entire career marks of four members of the Hall of Fame: Lee Smith (28.9), Trevor Hoffman (28.0), Lloyd Waner (27.9), and Freddie Lindstrom (27.5).

143 wRC+? If that was his career mark/rate alone, that would be tied for 49th all time with names like Albert Pujols, Roger Connor, and longtime teammate Eddie Mathews.

28 homers? You know how many players have 7+ 28+ homer seasons? 65.

Greenberg his whole career only had 6 such seasons. Jim Rice, Bench, Cepeda, Santo? 5. Rolen, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, Yaz? 4.
And Jess with help sums Hank up in numbers.

If people can ask what Ted’s numbers would have looked like with 3 1/2 more seasons, I think we can also ask about the Babe and his four seasons spent mostly pitching in the Dead Ball Era. But Babe lost at least one prime season to poor training habits.

Henry Aaron had no war or bad habits. His numbers are what a perfect hitter looked like until he got old, finally, and shipped back home to Milwaukee.

Has anyone mentioned how close Boston came to having Aaron, and Warren Spahn, forever?
 

LoweTek

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Aaron was one of those guys I'd always wished I had the chance to meet. Yogi, Gibson, Musial among the others I can think of the top of my head. This is one of those days I'm glad I am old enough to have seen him play in the latter part of his prime and to have been sitting glued to a TV when Downing threw the BP slider Aaron hit for 715. He was then and still is the leading HR hitter of all time in my eyes. One of the most dignified men of the game too. I loved him as a player and a human being.
 

teddywingman

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A small point of pride: When my grandfather passed in 2013, I was going through his small library to help with deciding which books should be kept in the family. In one book, I forget which, there was a folded letter. Typewritten, and possibly just a form letter, but signed by Henry Aaron, thanking him for "your family's support".

So apparently, my grandpa had sent him a letter saying something along the lines of, "me and my baseball loving sons are all rooting for you." I wish I had it in my possession right now, as it was not brief, and was pretty clear in saying essentially, "I'm glad that there are white kids rooting for me."
 

teddywingman

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Good letter from Biden and staff.

I recognize many flaws in my last post. Wish I had the letter in hand to post exactly what the man said.

Rest In Peace Mr. Henry Aaron.
 

edoug

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So does #44 get the 42 treatment? I don't think you can find a better person to represent what your league should be.
 

J.T. Pinch

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Eight seasons hitting 40 or more homers in addition to seven other seasons with 30 or more. 4x matching his uniform number 44. Top 20 in the balloting for MVP 19 consecutive seasons.

Received 406 votes on the 415 ballots that were cast for HOF induction. (9 No's, really?)

MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn was ABSENT for both of his 714 & 715th homers.
 

bob burda

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He stopped hitting cross-handed in the minors.
There's an interesting vignette in Bill James' 2nd Historical Abstract with Aaron saying that even after he changed he would still occasionally grab a bat and grip it cross-handed when if first got into his hands - like an old reflex. I don't know how long that lasted.
 

jaytftwofive

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He will always be the Home Run King. RIP Hamerin Hank. Better then Mays from age 36 on. And a nicer person then Mays. Willie always seems stuck on himself kind of.
 

E5 Yaz

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From Peter King's column this morning ... Hank Aaron, member of the Dawg Pound

2. HANK AARON AND THE BROWNS. The man who broke Babe Ruth’s career home-run record, once thought unbreakable (more about him later in the column), died Friday in Atlanta. Aaron was a huge Cleveland Browns fan. So huge that he used to buy single tickets in the Dawg Pound (the end zone with the crazy fans), fly from his Atlanta home to Cleveland on three or four Sunday mornings every autumn, bundle up, sit anonymously and alone in the stands, and fly back to Atlanta Sunday evening. Who knew? Ernie Accorsi, the GM of the Browns in the eighties, did. One summer day in 1986, at Browns training camp in Kirtland, Ohio, Accorsi thought he spied Aaron behind the ropes, watching practice with fans. Accorsi, a huge baseball fan, sidled up near Aaron and introduced himself. “I know you!” Aaron said. “It’s an honor to meet you.” That started a relationship that Accorsi, of course, was thrilled to have. “He told me he sat in the Dawg Pound, alone, for games, and I told him, ‘Hank, we can get you better seats than that.’ He said, ‘I don’t want ‘em. I love sitting there.’ “
Accorsi said Aaron became a Browns fan early in life because they were the first team, under Paul Brown, to sign and feature black stars—Bill Willis, Marion Motley, Len Ford, all of whom earned busts in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Aaron subscribed to the Cleveland Plain Dealer by mail to follow the team during the season. And once every week or 10 days, Accorsi’s phone would ring, and Aaron would want some scoop on his team. “He’s everything everybody has said about him,” Accorsi said. “A gentleman. Completely humble. And he loved his Browns.”

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/01/25/tom-brady-bucs-chiefs-super-bowl-fmia-peter-king/?cid=nbcsports
 

jaytftwofive

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From Peter King's column this morning ... Hank Aaron, member of the Dawg Pound

2. HANK AARON AND THE BROWNS. The man who broke Babe Ruth’s career home-run record, once thought unbreakable (more about him later in the column), died Friday in Atlanta. Aaron was a huge Cleveland Browns fan. So huge that he used to buy single tickets in the Dawg Pound (the end zone with the crazy fans), fly from his Atlanta home to Cleveland on three or four Sunday mornings every autumn, bundle up, sit anonymously and alone in the stands, and fly back to Atlanta Sunday evening. Who knew? Ernie Accorsi, the GM of the Browns in the eighties, did. One summer day in 1986, at Browns training camp in Kirtland, Ohio, Accorsi thought he spied Aaron behind the ropes, watching practice with fans. Accorsi, a huge baseball fan, sidled up near Aaron and introduced himself. “I know you!” Aaron said. “It’s an honor to meet you.” That started a relationship that Accorsi, of course, was thrilled to have. “He told me he sat in the Dawg Pound, alone, for games, and I told him, ‘Hank, we can get you better seats than that.’ He said, ‘I don’t want ‘em. I love sitting there.’ “
Accorsi said Aaron became a Browns fan early in life because they were the first team, under Paul Brown, to sign and feature black stars—Bill Willis, Marion Motley, Len Ford, all of whom earned busts in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Aaron subscribed to the Cleveland Plain Dealer by mail to follow the team during the season. And once every week or 10 days, Accorsi’s phone would ring, and Aaron would want some scoop on his team. “He’s everything everybody has said about him,” Accorsi said. “A gentleman. Completely humble. And he loved his Browns.”

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/01/25/tom-brady-bucs-chiefs-super-bowl-fmia-peter-king/?cid=nbcsports
And he could have sat with the rich celebrities in the super boxes but sat with the regular people in the dog pound. A regular person.
 

edoug

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And he could have sat with the rich celebrities in the super boxes but sat with the regular people in the dog pound. A regular person.
I'm not sure the denizens of the dawg pound are regular people. It's like Mr. Rogers going to Sex Pistols concerts.
 

Kliq

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In Bill James' abstract he wrote about how people always talk about "what are the best baseball playing families?" and he said that (going by win shares) the best baseball playing family of all-time was...the Babe Ruth family. Which contained only Ruth. He said that if you increase the standard to needing to contain at least two family members, the answer becomes very similar, as a remarkable number of baseball legends had relatives that were major league players, but not of any notable quality. Henry and Tommie Aaron, Honus and Butts Wagner, etc. You'd have to go to at least three members before you got into the DiMaggios, the Alous, the Delahanteys, etc. This was written before Barry Bonds went on his peak run in the early 2000s, today Barry and Bobby account for around 220 career WAR, 295 if you throw in Barry's cousin Reggie Jackson.

Bill James is funny; he is the godfather of statistics and brought so much of the analytics to baseball; but his life's work was developing the Win Shares statistic, and it got blown out of history by WAR to the point that it doesn't even come up on Baseball-Reference pages.
 

jaytftwofive

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Willie Mays is a pretty surly dude in general. He was mean to my 3 year old son at a card show years ago.
Mays came to Temple U. in April of 1980 to speak. Somebody asked him a question who is the best baseball player in the game today. He said his buddy Bobby Bonds???????? I asked him a follow up question right after that and asked him........do you think Bonds is better then Jim Rice, Dave Parker, Fred Lynn, Dave Winfield, Mike Schmidt, Eddie Murray and I'm sure others I didn't think of and he still said yes???? Wrong and obviously biased and strange answer.
 

jon abbey

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I wanted to say that too but in 1980 Bonds was 34 and out of baseball soon after.