This Day in Black History Month: Henry "Hank" Aaron Born in 1934

By: CBS Library
By: CBS Library

A legend of baseball was born on this day in history in 1934.

On April 4, 1974, Atlanta Braves baseball star hank Aaron tied the legendary babe Ruth’s record for all time career home runs. Henry Aaron, better known as hank, hit home run number 714 in Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium. Jack Billingham threw the pitch that clinched Aaron’s tie in a game between the reds and the braves.

Forty year old Aaron tied Ruth’s best on his first at-bat for the 1974 season. In order to set the record Ruth played 22 seasons, played in 2,503 games and went to bat 8,399 times. Aaron met the record after 21 seasons, 2,967 games, and 11,295 times at bat.

There was some controversy in Atlanta over where Aaron should tie the record. Atlanta fans wanted Aaron to sit out the season's first few games until the braves played their third game on home soil. The baseball commissioner nixed the request, but hank Aaron went on to beat Ruth’s record in the Atlanta stadium, to the joy of home fans, with his 715th run.

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