Baseball isn’t to be tampered with. Running afoul of the national pastime is a sin in this nation, as well it should be.
Baseball is intrinsic to who we are as a people. It speaks to America’s cultural impact on the world, and that impact’s reverberations. South America, the Islands, and Japan have all embraced the sport in their own unique way, and some of their star players are now changing the game back here in the states.
Baseball is a rite of passage. It’s how many of us first learn the importance of sportsmanship and team work.
And most of all, baseball is a part of the history of this great nation. It reflects who we are as a nation.
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In the shadow of the Civil Rights Movement, and in the deep south, one man looked to break one fo the unbreakable records in all of baseball history: Babe Ruth’s home run count. That man, Henry Aaron, was the first African American to get anywhere near the milestone, and there were some deeply depraved people here in America that didn’t want to see this happen, for their own bigoted reasons.
When Aaron finally rocked the laces of the ball that would put him over the top, several men stormed the field to celebrate the moment. Aaron has famously said that he wasn’t sure that they were coming to be friendly.
Now, this icon of the game, and of the nation, has passed.
He is the one man that Muhammad Ali said he idolized “more than myself.” He became known to the world as “Hammerin’ Hank.”
Legendary Atlanta Brave and Major League Baseball record holder Hank Aaron died Friday at the age of 86, according to Aaron’s daughter.
Aaron was in the public eye not more than a few weeks ago.
On Jan. 5, Aaron received his COVID-19 vaccine at Morehouse alongside his close friend Ambassador Andrew Young and Dr. Louis Sullivan.
“I feel wonderful,” Aaron told us that day. “It makes you feel like you are doing something not only to help yourself, but to help your community.”
As of this writing, no cause of death has been released for Hammerin’ Hank.
For many, Aaron will forever be the true home run king, as Barry Bonds’ toppling of the record came amid known steroid use by the longtime San Francisco Giant.
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