Hank Aaron had a very quick bat with great wrist strength and power combined with perseverance and grace.
At the tail end of his career I saw him at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. He had the bat speed and wrist action right up until the end of his playing days.
A Poster of his memorable Ruth eclipsing homerun hung in my bedroom along with Clemente and others. I watched him on television hit that home run that made him the home run king off Al Downing. He circled the bases as fans streamed….
He was a great baseball player who started in the Negro Leagues. He was a first ballot and I would say upper tier Hall Of Famer unlike Joe Morgan who died not long ago who was a low to mid tier Hall Of Fame Player.
Hank Aaron said in a memorable interview last February with Craig Melvin that Barry Bonds belonged in the Hall of Fame unlike Pete Rose. Gambling as Rose did was apparently disqualifying versus using steroids to enhance performance. Hammerin’ Hank said many who had cheated before and were Hall Of Fame Players. I disagree with his reasoning which apparently gives way to precedent. HAd precedent continued from before Jackie Robinson then Hank Aaron would have never been a major league player.
Joe Morgan got it right when he said steroid abuse is disqualifying. Pete Rose behavior of betting on a team he managed is disqualifying from that point onward. If Barry Bonds had the numbers pre steroids then he belongs in the Hall Of Fame. Barry Bonds apparently did not. Pete Rose, a rather mediocre talent based on physical ability had the numbers pre betting per what is known. Pete Rose whom Mickey Mantle (Mantle had all the physical qualities to be the greatest but did not have the discipline) called Charlie Hustle derisively does belong in The Hall Of Fame from my perhaps unique type of logic.
Unfortunately, great players sometimes never make it into the Hall Of Fame. From everything I know the greatest to player ever to play major league baseball (which excludes the likes of those who played in the Negro Leagues or for that matter never played in the Major Leagues for various reasons) to not be in the Hall of Fame is Joe Jackson. Pete Rose agrees with me on this point.
Shoeless Joe Jackson does belong in The Hall Of Fame. He not only had the ability and numbers but from what I have gleaned could have been framed. His courtroom testimony or at least some of it purportedly was found missing.
Baseball is played in a social context. Hall Of Famers can be judged by what they did. The greatest was the Babe who emulated Joe Jackson’s swing. What is keeping Joe Jackson from the Hall of Fame? There was the so called gambling syndicate led by Arnold Rothstein that was the genesis. Perhaps it is ultimately due to the same logic that the great baseball player Hank Aaron used to give the steroid user Barry Bonds a pass.
Louis DeCola, Jr. © 2021 The Hygiology Post ®