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#pounditSunday, January 23, 2022

Articles tagged: Hank Aaron

Vin Scully shares fascinating observation about Braves’ World Series win

Vin Scully addressing fans

Vin Scully may be retired, but he is still offering some fascinating musings about the sport of baseball.

The longtime Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster tweeted a cool observation on Friday about the Atlanta Braves’ World Series victory this year.

“Would you believe in the year Hank Aaron passed away, the @braves won 44 games before the All-Star break, 44 games after the break, and won the World Series the 44th week of the year,” Scully wrote. “Aaron, of course, wore #44. Maybe the Braves had a secret weapon after all.”

The legendary Aaron, who played 21 seasons for the Braves, died in January at the age of 86. Aaron’s widow Billye was in attendance at Truist Park during the Braves’ World Series run. The fact that the Braves beat the Houston Astros was also probably especially sweet for this reason.

As for Scully, this is an awesome callback to his connection with Aaron. You may remember that he was on the call for Aaron’s record-breaking 715th career home run back in 1974.

Photo: Oct 25, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers former broadcaster Vin Scully before game two of the 2017 World Series against the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

COVID-19 vaccine played no role in Hank Aaron’s death, officials believe

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron received the first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine weeks before he died, and some have wondered if the vaccine may have played a role in the MLB legend’s death. It does not appear that was the case.

According to KSDK, a preliminary investigation from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office determined that Aaron died of natural causes unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Aaron received the first of what were supposed to be two vaccine doses on Jan. 4 in Atlanta. He was scheduled to receive a second dose before he died. Aaron was 86.

Ambassador Andrew Young, who received the vaccine at the same time as Aaron, said Hammerin’ Hank “never had any reaction” to the shot or complained of any issues.

Aaron took the COVID-19 vaccine alongside other civil rights leaders in hopes of encouraging others in the community to get vaccinated. He told The Associated Press that he had no side effects and that the vaccine “makes me feel wonderful.”

News of Aaron’s death hit the sports world hard. You can see some of the tributes that poured in for the one-time home run king here.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan criticized for tweets about Hank Aaron

Jeff Passan

Hundreds of sports reporters paid tribute to Hank Aaron on Friday after hearing the news that the MLB legend has died, and Jeff Passan was among them. The ESPN insider regrets the way he went about it, however.

Passan sent a tweet about Aaron that called the one-time home run king a “true American hero.” He also tried to call attention to how Aaron was subject to racism in the deep south. Many were offended with the way Passan worded the tweet, as he said Hammerin’ Hank “ignored hate as he conquered baseball.”

The backlash led to Passan sending a follow-up in which he tried to explain why he used the word “ignored.”

“The use of ignored here was meant to convey Henry’s ability not (to) allow the awful things people said and did to shake him publicly,” Passan wrote. “That was a sliver of his reality and one I could’ve worded better. He endured hated, he fought hatred, he braved hatred. And he deserved none of it.”

That didn’t improve things for Passan. He was then ripped for referring to racism as a “sliver” of Aaron’s reality, and he decided to delete both tweets. You can see screenshots of them below:

Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion was among those who ripped Passan. He called the tweets an example of “white people trying to wax poetically about racism.” Others said Passan was trying to minimize the role racism played in Aaron’s life and MLB career.

Passan eventually deleted the tweets and issued an apology. He included a link to two books about Aaron, one of which is the slugger’s autobiography.

It seems obvious that Passan’s intentions were good, but unfortunately he did not convey his thoughts the way he wanted to. Between the Aaron tweets and his animated feud with a radio host earlier in the week, it has been a rough few days for the MLB insider.

Sports world pays tribute to Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron

Major League Baseball lost yet another legend on Friday, as one-time home run king Hank Aaron has died at age 86. The news was felt all across the sports world.

Aaron was one of those rare legendary players who transcends sports. We were reminded of that with the tributes that poured in over social media. Many shared the famous clip from when Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974.

Others shared their favorite Aaron memories and explained how he had a direct impact on their lives and careers.

We were also reminded of some amazing stats from Aaron’s Hall of Fame career.

Many noted that they will always consider Aaron to be baseball’s real home run king, as the latter portion of Barry Bonds’ career was tarnished by allegations of PED use. Aaron openly advocated for harsh penalties for players who used PEDs. He was also very outspoken about the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.

Aaron remains MLB’s all-time leader in RBI (2,297), total bases (6,856) and extra-base hits (1,477).

Hank Aaron dies — dead at 86

Hank Aaron

Major League Baseball legend and one-time home run leader Hank Aaron has died.

Tim Kephart of CBS46 reports that Aaron passed away early Friday morning. He was 86.

Aaron, a 25-time All-Star, is one of the greatest baseball players to ever lived. He belted 755 home runs in his Hall of Fame career, which was the most in MLB history until Barry Bonds surpassed him. Aaron remains baseball’s all-time RBI leader with 2,297, total base leader with 6,856 and extra-base hit leader with 1,477.

Aaron, whose nickname was “Hammerin’ Hank,” overcame a great deal of racial tension in the 1970s as he pursued and eventually surpassed Babe Ruth as MLB’s all-time home run leader.

Many will always consider Aaron to be baseball’s home run king, as the latter part of Bonds’ career was tarnished by allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Aaron was very outspoken about his opinions on cheating and advocated for harsh penalties for those who used PEDs.

More recently, Aaron took an extremely harsh stance against the Houston Astros over their sign-stealing scandal.

Aaron had an incredible run in the majors from 1954 to 1976. He won a World Series with the Braves in 1957 and was named the National League MVP that season. Between his death, Tommy Lasorda’s, and a few others, this has been a rough few months for MLB.

Freddie Freeman shares reason for his press box point after home run

Freddie Freeman

Freddie Freeman gave a point to the press box after his home run on Wednesday, and now we know why.

Freeman put his Atlanta Braves on the board with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the third inning of the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. After crossing home plate, he pointed to the press box.

Freeman said after the game that he pointed to the press box as a nod to Hank Aaron, who was a guest on the TV broadcast.

Aaron, 86, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982 after spending 21 of his 23 MLB seasons with the Braves organization. One of the absolute legends of the game, he still is the MLB career leader for RBIs (2,297) and total bases (6,856). Any time you have a chance to homer in his presence is an honor, which explains Freeman’s gesture.

What’s also impressive is Freeman being at the top of his game despite what he recently went through.

Hank Aaron thinks Astros cheaters should be banned from MLB for life

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron is living up to his “Hammerin’ Hank” nickname and thinks the Houston Astros’ players got off too easy and should have been hammered harder in their punishments for cheating. Specifically, Aaron thinks MLB should have banned the cheaters for life.

Aaron was interviewed by Craig Melvin for “TODAY” and was asked for his thoughts about the Astros.

“They did (steal signs),” Aaron said of his day, but noted, “they didn’t steal them that way.”

Aaron said he did not think the punishment fit the crime.

“I don’t. I think whoever did that should be out of baseball the rest of their life.”

Aaron was also asked by Melvin about Pete Rose asking for reinstatement by MLB because of inconsistencies between his punishment and the Astros players getting off easily. He said Rose should not be allowed in.

Aaron’s comments should not come as a surprise. He smacked 755 home runs over his 23-year career, only to be surpassed by a cheating Barry Bonds. He has long taken an anti-cheating stance and advocated for harsh penalties against those who used performance-enhancing drugs.

At a time when many people feel like there should not be any penalties for crimes, and when people are blaming the whistle blowers rather than the cheaters, it’s nice to have a man so accomplished and respected step up and speak out on the side of playing within the rules.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Hank Aaron: Colin Kaepernick is ‘getting a raw deal’

Colin Kaepernick

One of the greatest and most famous athletes of all time agrees with the assertion that Colin Kaepernick is being treated unfairly by the NFL.

MLB legend Hank Aaron said in a video for AllThatTV Wednesday that Kaepernick is “getting a raw deal” and deserves “a chance to do his thing” at the NFL level.

“[Kaepernick] has gone to all these camps, I suppose, and nobody seems to think he stands a chance to be a No. 1 [quarterback],” Aaron said, via ESPN. “Here’s a man, a young player, that almost carried a team to a championship, to a Super Bowl. I think somebody needs to give this man a chance.”

One problem some NFL execs apparently have is doubts about his commitment to the game. At this point, however, there is no logical or rational explanation for his continued unemployment that does not involve his decision to kneel during the national anthem.

Braves getting racist fan mail about Hank Aaron

Hank-AaronAnyone who has seen the movie “42” has a pretty decent understanding of the type of hateful fan mail the Los Angeles Dodgers received when they made Jackie Robinson the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. Threats and racist letters toward black players continued right into the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Unfortunately, they still exist today.

Hank Aaron told Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports last week that he keeps his hate mail as a reminder that racism is still very much an issue. He used president Barack Obama as an example.

“A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go,”Aaron said. “There’s not a whole lot that has changed. We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated.”

“We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

Nightengale later specified that Aaron was not comparing Republicans to the Ku Klux Klan, rather simply stating that anyone would be a fool to think racism is a thing of the past. That hasn’t prevented the Atlanta Braves from receiving a new wave of racist hate mail over the past week.

“Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)” a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, “My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).” …

… Marion calls Aaron a “racist scumbag.” Ronald won’t attend another Braves game until Aaron is fired. Mark calls Aaron a “classless racist.” David says that he will burn Aaron’s I Had A Hammer autobiography.

Here we are 40 years later, and the only difference is bigots don’t have to write their letters by hand. The hate mail is less frequent, but the fact that it still exists is embarrassing.

H/T Deadspin

Hank Aaron: First PED violation should be 100-game suspension, second lifetime ban

Every time a player gets caught using performance-enhancing drugs, it leads to a discussion about whether or not the punishment is harsh enough. On paper, being suspended for a third of the season for a first offense and more than half of the season for a second offense sounds pretty significant. Baseball has a 162-game season, so players who test positive lose a lot of time and money — not to mention the hit to their public image. Former home run king Hank Aaron doesn’t think it’s enough.

“I think it’s got to be a little bit more severe as far as penalties are concerned,” Aaron said at a benefit for his charity on Wednesday according to FOXSportsWisconsin.com. “I think 50 games is not enough. I’d like to see 100 games really. I think the second time, they need to just ban the player from baseball.”

Contrary to what the founder of BALCO would like you to think, I have trouble believing that steroid use is still as rampant across Major League Baseball now as it was five to 10 years ago. Unless pitchers are now the most frequent users, there’s a reason we have seen a noticeable spike in no-hitters and perfect games over the past two or three seasons.

As someone who had to watch Barry Bonds break his home run record, we can understand why Aaron feels like the punishment handed out to guys like Melky Cabrera is not enough. Other old timers like Kirk Gibson agree with his stance. While I feel that 50 games is a significant enough suspension for a first offense, I find it tough to disagree with Aaron about repeat offenders. People make mistakes and have lapses in judgment. Using PEDs after you’ve already been caught using PEDs is an entirely different set of circumstances.