When Marcus Giles sends Brad Penny’s 3-2 pitch into the stands on September 20, 2003, the Atlanta Braves tie the National League record (held by the Milwaukee Braves) by having six players to hit at least 20 home runs in season. Along with the Atlanta’s second baseman, Javy Lopez, Gary Sheffield, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones and Vinny Castilla.
- Atlanta Braves History: Chipper Jones names his son Shea (August 30, 2004) (mww1954.wordpress.com)
- Atlanta Braves History: Chipper goes 3-3 in 2000 All-Star game (July 11, 2000) (mww1954.wordpress.com)
Atlanta Braves History: “There’s a new home run champion of all time, and it’s Henry Aaron!” (April 8, 1974)
I loved listening to Milo Hamilton broadcast the Atlanta Braves games. I never enjoyed hearing him so much as this amazing day. I can still hear him announce Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
“Henry Aaron in the second inning walked and scored. He’s sittin’ on 714. Here’s the pitch by Downing. Swinging. There’s a drive into left-center field! That ball is gonna be … outta here! It’s gone! It’s 715! There’s a new home run champion of all time, and it’s Henry Aaron!” – Milo Hamilton, April 8, 1974
Hank hits home run number 500 off Mike McCormick becoming the eighth major leaguer to reach this milestone on July 14,1968. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’s three-run homer over the left center field fence proves to be the difference as the Braves beat the Giants at Atlanta Stadium, 4-2.
- Hank Aaron to speak in Milwaukee (fox11online.com)
- Baseball legend Hank Aaron to speak at Marquette (fox6now.com)
- THT Live: 50th anniversary: Hank Aaron’s walk-off grand slam (hardballtimes.com)
- Baseball legend Hank Aaron to speak at Marquette (channel3000.com)
Hank Aaron is my baseball hero. He came to the Milwaukee Braves (now the Atlanta Braves) the year I was born
Whenever I dream of the one single card I would like to add to my collection more than any other, I picture the 1954 Aaron. Whenever I think of the one card that I would love to show every visitor to my house, it’s the 54 Aaron. It is the rookie card of the single greatest player in the history of my favorite team. It is the single most important card issued of any Atlanta Braves player. It is from one of the most beautiful sets that Topps has ever produced. It is perfect in each and every way.
It was Fred Haney’s second year as Manager. The Braves really turned it on that year. They were the NL champions with a 95-59 record, ending up 8 games ahead.
So what was Hank Aaron’s most memorable home run? It was number 109 which he hit on September 23, 1957. At the time, he wasn’t even thought of as a home run hitter. No one even imagined he would break the Babe’s record. Even though he would eventually hit 646 more home runs, this was the one he remembers most.
It was tied up 2-2 at home. St. Louis was hanging in there with the Braves. Johnny Logan was on first. There were two outs. Billy Muffett threw a “fat” one. Out it went over the center-field fence in County Stadium. All of Milwaukee seemed to celebrate. The Braves won the NL championship on that home run. Aaron was mauled at home plate. He was carried off the field by his team mates.
Some things aren’t easy. This was one of them. On April 29, 1953, Joe Adcock becomes the first ML player to homer into the Center Field bleacher seats in the Polo Grounds‚ over 475 feet away. His homer in the 3rd‚ with Pafko on‚ came off a Jim Hearn fast ball. Luke Easter‚ in a 1948 Negro League game‚ and Schoolboy Rowe‚ in batting practice before a 1933 exhibition game‚ also accomplished the feat.
Lou Brock and Hank Aaron will match it is as well in 1962. The Braves won the game 3-2 on a 9th-inning knuckler by Hoyt Wilhelm that eludes Sal Yvars for a wild pitch. Billy Bruton’s perfect throw cuts down Monte Irvin for the final out. After the game‚ manager Charlie Grimm buys Adcock’s homer for $25 from the fan who caught it. I wonder how much that is worth today?
You have to love Joe Adcock. On August 1, 1954, Dodgers Clem Labine beans Joe Adcock in the 4th. His helmet apparently saves him from a serious injury‚ but he is taken out of the game as a precautionary measure. He will appear in the starting line-up the next day. Gene Conley reciprocates by knocking down Jackie Robinson in the 6th and Robinson ends up scrapping with Eddie Mathews. The Braves win 14-6‚ their 10th win in a row‚ as Conley runs his record to 10-5. The Braves set a ML mark for extra bases on long hits in 2 consecutive games (44).
1955 brought continued improvement to the Braves. Maybe it was the move to Milwaukee. Maybe it was Charlie Grimm the manager. Maybe it was Hank Aaron bursting onto the scene. Whatever it was, they ended up in second place that year with an 85-69 record. It was their third consecutive solid season. It wasn’t good enough to outpace the Dodgers who won their first 10 games and 22 of their first 24.
The Braves were second most of the season. Brooklyn continued to rise and actually clinched on September 8, a National League record for the 154 game season. Of course, injuries didn’t help them in 1955 either. Just like the year before. But it probably didn’t matter. They couldn’t have caught the Dodgers under any circumstances.
The off season was all about Hank Aaron. No one could talk about anything else. He would break the record in 1974. No doubt about it. It was Eddie Matthews last year as manager. Clyde King would end the year as the manager. The Atlanta Braves would end up third in the East with a 88-74 record. 14 games behind was not anything to speak of. But it didn’t seem to matter too much in the year when the Hammer would become the home run King.
The season did start with some controversy though. The Braves would open the season in Cinncinnati. Everyone wanted Hank to hit his record home run in Atlanta. So, they were going to keep Hank out of the line up. Bowie Kuhn had to step in and demand the Hank play.
There is a lot to the Braves history and we have had our share of home run hitters. Joe Adcock was one of the Braves best and one of the best in all of baseball history. He retired in 1966. At the time he was 20th on the all-time list of home run hitters. He was seventh of all right handed hitters with 336 home runs.
It is probably fair to say that he was overshadowed by a few other Braves greats. He played with Hank Aaron and Eddie Mathews. Imagine the team that had all three of them. That would have been the Milwaukee Braves now residing in Atlanta.