Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hank Aaron Ties The Babe April 4, 1974

From the NYTimes Front Page
April 5, 1974
On April 4, 1974, 40 years ago at Riverfront Stadium in the National League city of Cincinnati, Ohio Henry "Hammering Hank" Aaron launched a pitch by Reds starter Jack Billingham during the first inning over the left-center field fence that would tie him with the man who simply went by the nickname of: The Babe.

The 400-foot line drive, 3-run home run tied Aaron at 714 career home runs with Ruth in front of a sellout crowd of 52,154 spectators. Aaron's 714th home run came in his 11,289th major league at-bat compared to Ruth reaching 714 in 8,399 major league at-bats.

What I never knew until reading the Dave Anderson article (whose PDF you can access on the link below) is that this was Opening Day, 1974.

Here is video footage of Aaron's home run from MLB's Youtube Channel:

The Braves would end up losing the game 7-6 in extra innings. Aaron would eventually pass Ruth three days later against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium.

Here is the box score for the April 4th game from the New York Times, April 5, 1974:

On April 8th, I will honor Aaron with a post on his passing Babe Ruth on the All-Time career Home Run List with his 715th career home run.

Until Then Play Ball,