When i heard yesterday afternoon, i choked back a few tears. Then i started checking out the news, the sports, the social media, and this morning, the newspaper.
He came from another era. He not only lasted but succeeded in becoming a legend, a history maker in the next era and the next.
i shall not try to add to the tributes for Henry Aaron, except two.
Today, driving to the VA for my first COVID vaccination, i heard a quote i thought captured what the man accomplished: Muhammed Ali once said that Hank Aaron was, “The only man I idolize more than myself.”
The other quote which has been replayed and quoted in writing numerous times after the sad news broke yesterday came from Vin Scully announcing the game for the Dodgers when the Atlanta Brave became the most prolific home run hitter in major league baseball and still holds that record if you don’t count the steroid enhanced performance of Barry Bonds. When Aaron hit his blast to go past Babe Ruth, Scully announced:
A Black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. What a marvelous moment for baseball. What a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia. What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. And it is a great moment for all of us, particularly Henry Aaron, who was met at home plate by not only every member of the Braves, but by his father and mother.”
That pretty much tells how much this man meant to baseball, our country, and the world.
i have provided the link to today’s “Sean of the South” column. He covers the emotion better than i could. But even more impactful for me was the quote of Howie Bedell at the end of the column. It echoed how a number of other quotes have described Henry Aaron. It is also the description i found to be the best for my father, and what i hope will eventually be subscribed to me.
“…Hank Aaron was a good man.”