Legendary baseball player Hank Aaron passed away on Friday morning at the age of 86.
Author of 755 career circuits, the American is definitely one of the greatest of his sport, alongside Babe Ruth and Willie Mays, to name a few.
“Even today, I consider that it is he who really holds the record for the greatest number of circuits”, slices the Quebecer Claude Raymond, who was the teammate of Aaron, first with the Braves of Milwaukee ( 1961 to 1963), then with the Atlanta Braves (1967 to 1969).
Officially, the controversial Barry Bonds, convicted of doping, is the leader with 762 long balls. Aaron will have been at the top between 1974 and 2007 after beating Ruth.
“Hank succeeded in all his circuits without cheating,” adds the former Quebec pitcher.
“An extraordinary teammate”
Among his many exploits, Raymond particularly remembers a successful Aaron “bomb” in the Milwaukee uniform against the Philadelphia Phillies in the early 1960s.
“Hank came to me and patted me on the knee. The opposing pitcher was Jack Baldschun, a corkscrew ball specialist. Before going to strike, Hank looked at me and said he was going to get the win. He warned me that he was going to look bad on the first two shots on purpose, but that he was going to hit a home run on the third pitch. He predicted everything correctly. ”
“He’s the best player I’ve played with, for sure, and he was an extraordinary teammate, always available,” continues Raymond. At bat, he could strike in all fields and on defense, as a fielder, he knew where to stand and was able to steal many hits from the opponent. “
In addition to his playing on the field, the African American was also an example of resilience, at a time when racism was rampant throughout the United States.
“When we went to play on the road, he couldn’t accompany us everywhere and we had to unload him in the black quarter, recalls Raymond sadly. I also remember him taking me, after a game in Atlanta, to a restaurant where I was the only white person in the place and he immediately put me at ease. He didn’t want me to be looked at differently like it has so often happened to him. “
In the early 1970s, during Babe Ruth’s circuit record race, Aaron had received death threats.
“In his own way, he has advanced the cause of racism,” adds Raymond, calling him a very, very calm man.
Leader for RBIs
Obviously helped by his 755 long balls, the one we nicknamed “Hammer” still leads the history of major baseball with 2297 career RBIs. He played a total of 23 seasons, completing with an aggregate batting average of .305 and winning the World Series once, in 1957, with the Milwaukee Braves.
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, Aaron also has an award in his name, presented annually by Major League Baseball to the best offensive players in the National and the American.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116