On May 10, 1967 “Hammerin” Henry “Hank” Aaron hit his only inside the park home run. The pitch thrown by Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies was a fastball that traveled to deep center field. This occurrence is the rarest in all of baseball. The rare occurrence took place one of every 158 times a home run was hit between the years 1951 and 2000. He would end his career with 755 home runs, which was the career record and would be the number to beat for the two decades to follow his retirement. Even when the highly unusual achievement getting checked off the to-do list of a baseball player, is put aside he is considered one of the greatest hitters to get his chance to play in the majors.
Throughout his life there were many obstacles that needed to be faced including the chance to follow Jackie Robinson seven years after baseball’s color barrier was broken. It was still a challenging transition when a player went from the Negro League to the Major League. The move was from the Indianapolis Clowns to the Milwaukee Braves, who would later move to Atlanta. He had to face numerous pieces of hate mail and death threats as he got closer to Babe Ruth’s home run record, but that did not stop him from tying the record at 715 on opening day in 1974. He went on to hit 40 more balls out of the park before he retired in 1976. Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, and is still celebrated as one of the sport’s greatest players.
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