DavidGreen
Posted by DavidGreen
Jul 23, 2019

Introduction

This month, 43 years ago, Hank Aaron hit his final home run in Major League Baseball. It was on July 20th, 1976 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At this point in his long and legendary career, he was the designated hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Brewers vs. Angels

The Brewers were hosting the California Angels for a night game at County Stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Although it was a beautiful 73 degrees in Milwaukee, attendance for the historical day was fairly low. There were only 10,134 fans in the stadium for this baseball game which happened to be a mere 21 percent of the venue’s capacity.

In 1976, Aaron was 42 years old, and this was his 23rd and final season playing Major League Baseball. Prior to this game he was hitting .246 and had only 9 home runs. His numbers were dropping as his age increased.

Aaron was batting fourth in the lineup that day, and was off to a rough start early on in this game. The Angel’s right handed starter, Gary Ross, got Hammerin’ Hank to fly out to left field in his first at bat in the bottom of the first inning. In the third inning Ross got him to fly out to second base. Aaron’s third at bat was against right handed relief pitcher, Dick Drago, who struck out the hall of famer in the fifth inning.

The Home Run

Drago just gave up a home run to the Brewer’s first baseman, George Scott. The Milwaukee Brewers were up 4 – 1 over the California Angels when Aaron once again came to the plate for his fourth at bat of the game in the seventh inning. He crushed the ball over the left field wall for his 755th career home run which ultimately was the last home run of his MLB career.

The Milwaukee team ended up winning this game 6 – 2. A member of the Brewer’s groundskeeping crew, Richard Arndt, ended up retrieving Aaron’s last home run ball. Arndt eventually sold that baseball https://latestsportsbonuses.com/bet-on-baseball for $650,000.00 in 1999.

Home Run Records

This was his 21st season with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves. Hammerin’ Hank hit his 715th career home run to surpass Babe Ruth’s long time standing home run record.

Then on August 7th, 2007 while playing for the San Francisco Giants, Barry Bonds creamed a pitch to hit his 756th career home run in order to pass Aaron’s home run record. Bonds ended his MLB career with 762 home runs. Due to Bonds’ use of performance enhancing drugs (steroids) he is often not considered the true home run champion of Major League Baseball. Hank Aaron is often referred to being the real home run king of the MLB.

Career Accomplishments and Awards

Aaron was a 25-time All Star. He became a World Series Champion in 1957 with the Milwaukee Braves. He was the National League Most Valuable Player in 1957 as well. He won three Gold Glove Awards (1958, 1959, 1960), and was the National League’s batting champion twice (1956, 1959).

Aaron led the National League in home runs 4 times (1957, 1963, 1966, 1967), and he led the National League in runs batted in 4 times as well (1957, 1960, 1963, 1966). The Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers have retired his number 44. He is in the Braves Hall of Fame and is honored in the Miller Park Walk of Fame. He was selected to the Major League Baseball’s All Century Team. In 1982 Hank Aaron was enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Career Statistics

Year Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB HBP
1954 MLN NL 122 509 468 58 131 27 6 13 69 2 28 39 0.28 0.322 0.447 0.769 104 209 3
1955 MLN NL 153 665 602 105 189 37 9 27 106 3 49 61 0.314 0.366 0.54 0.906 141 325 3
1956 MLN NL 153 660 609 106 200 34 14 26 92 2 37 54 0.328 0.365 0.558 0.923 151 340 2
1957 MLN NL 151 675 615 118 198 27 6 44 132 1 57 58 0.322 0.378 0.6 0.978 166 369 0
1958 MLN NL 153 664 601 109 196 34 4 30 95 4 59 49 0.326 0.386 0.546 0.931 152 328 1
1959 MLN NL 154 693 629 116 223 46 7 39 123 8 51 54 0.355 0.401 0.636 1.037 182 400 4
1960 MLN NL 153 664 590 102 172 20 11 40 126 16 60 63 0.292 0.352 0.566 0.919 156 334 2
1961 MLN NL 155 671 603 115 197 39 10 34 120 21 56 64 0.327 0.381 0.594 0.974 163 358 2
1962 MLN NL 156 667 592 127 191 28 6 45 128 15 66 73 0.323 0.39 0.618 1.008 170 366 3
1963 MLN NL 161 714 631 121 201 29 4 44 130 31 78 94 0.319 0.391 0.586 0.977 179 370 0
1964 MLN NL 145 634 570 103 187 30 2 24 95 22 62 46 0.328 0.393 0.514 0.907 153 293 0
1965 MLN NL 150 639 570 109 181 40 1 32 89 24 60 81 0.318 0.379 0.56 0.938 161 319 1
1966 ATL NL 158 688 603 117 168 23 1 44 127 21 76 96 0.279 0.356 0.539 0.895 142 325 1
1967 ATL NL 155 669 600 113 184 37 3 39 109 17 63 97 0.307 0.369 0.573 0.943 168 344 0
1968 ATL NL 160 676 606 84 174 33 4 29 86 28 64 62 0.287 0.354 0.498 0.852 153 302 1
1969 ATL NL 147 639 547 100 164 30 3 44 97 9 87 47 0.3 0.396 0.607 1.003 177 332 2
1970 ATL NL 150 598 516 103 154 26 1 38 118 9 74 63 0.298 0.385 0.574 0.958 149 296 2
1971 ATL NL 139 573 495 95 162 22 3 47 118 1 71 58 0.327 0.41 0.669 1.079 194 331 2
1972 ATL NL 129 545 449 75 119 10 0 34 77 4 92 55 0.265 0.39 0.514 0.904 147 231 1
1973 ATL NL 120 465 392 84 118 12 1 40 96 1 68 51 0.301 0.402 0.643 1.045 177 252 1
1974 ATL NL 112 382 340 47 91 16 0 20 69 1 39 29 0.268 0.341 0.491 0.832 128 167 0
1975 MIL AL 137 543 465 45 109 16 2 12 60 0 70 51 0.234 0.332 0.355 0.687 95 165 1
1976 MIL AL 85 308 271 22 62 8 0 10 35 0 35 38 0.229 0.315 0.369 0.684 102 100 0

Sources:

“Hank Aaron”, baseball-reference.com, July 19, 2019.

“Hank Aaron’s final home run: Hammerin’ Hank hit his 755th and final homer on this day 40 years ago”, Rhiannon Walker, theundefeated.com, July 20, 2016.

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