Tarnished Legacy: Hank Aaron Strikes Out

Written by R.G. Yoho on April 13, 2014

In 1973, Henry “Hank” Aaron of the Atlanta Braves, was challenging Major League Baseball’s all-time homerun record, then held by the legendary Babe Ruth
As a young man and a devoted baseball fan, I watched with interest Hank’s pursuit of one of baseball home-run prestigious records. And although I wasn’t a fan of the Braves, I was certainly pulling for this good man and great athlete to break the record.

However, Aaron fell just one home-runshort of tying Babe’s record of 714 that year.

In 1974, on his first time at the plate, Hank would equal Babe Ruth’s record in Riverfront Stadium, home of my beloved Cincinnati Reds.

At the time, I remember that I was certainly happy for Hank Aaron, pleased that he tied Ruth’s record, but I was also disappointed that it had to come at the expense of my own favorite team.

A few days later, Aaron would hit number 715, eclipsing the record in Atlanta, at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that I already despised.

The humility and grace that Hank Aaron exhibited during this chase won not only my interest; his conduct both on and off the field also earned my respect.

And throughout the years, despite Aaron’s record falling to Barry Bonds, who dishonored the game and the record by using steroids, I continued to respect Hank Aaron and what he meant to America and the National Pastime.

Moreover, I never considered Bonds’ home-run total to be legitimate.

In my mind, and in the minds and hearts of many others, Henry Aaron would always be baseball’s true Home-run King.

But on the 40th Anniversary of Aaron’s 715th home-run, which broke Babe Ruth’s Major League record, I suddenly lost every last shred of respect I held for the man for the past forty years.

In an interview this past week, Hank Aaron stated that people who opposed the policies of President Barack Obama were no different than the members of the KKK.

So, perhaps I was wrong about Hank after all!

Maybe Henry Aaron really isn’t any better than Barry Bonds, a man who cheated to get his name in baseball’s record book.

Sorry, Hank, but you are an idiot.

My opposition to Obama has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with his skin color.

In fact, I have always stood against Marxism. I would be opposed to the policies of this man, no matter what his skin color might be. Moreover, I also adamantly opposed the principles of Obamacare, when a white President Clinton and Hillary were trying to get it passed, when the legislation was first known as Hillarycare.

And come to think of it, I would still stringently oppose most of Obama’s policies if they were being carried out by one of the Klan’s most prestigious and unapologetic members, the late Senate Democrat, Robert C. Byrd.

Like the life and exploits of Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, and the Tuskegee Airmen before him, Henry Aaron’s pursuit of Babe Ruth’s record made the man a true racial healer. His assault on the home-run title brought all Americans together, no matter what their skin color might be.

A man who brought all races together—that would have always been Hank Aaron’s true legacy.

But that was before Aaron chose to make some low-down, mean-spirited, unkind, small-minded, dishonest, belligerent, openly-partisan, classless, below-the-belt, cheap shot to much of this country, at the same time insulting many of us who openly pulled for the man to break the record of a legendary white ball player.

I am ashamed to say that I was ever a fan of this cowardly Atlanta Brave.

This week, Hammering Henry Aaron became lower than the dirt that used to mark his uniforms.

What a shame!

For decades, Henry Aaron was truly one the giants of the game of baseball and the game of life.

Now he’s just small.

R.G. Yoho is a Western author who has published seven books, including “Death Comes to Redhawk,” along with a non-fiction work entitled “America’s History is His Story.”