What Did Hank Aaron Mean to Baseball?

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If you are a sports cards lover, then you must have a thing for Hank Aaron and his baseball cards. Aaron was a significant player of baseball who rewrote the history of the sports. Even after his death, people love him, respect his brilliance, and appreciate his struggle throughout.

Being a black man, Hank Aaron faced a lot of difficulties but his determination never let him fall. He kept struggling and shone like a bright star among his rivals. The extent to his supremacy can be judged from the case of Barry Bonds and his PEDs usage. Even when all the evidence was against Barry Bonds and declaring foul home run record, Aaron stayed calm.

He congratulated him and stayed out of controversy. That’s the legacy that Hank Aaron left behind. He taught the lesson of patience, believing in self, and remaining calm even in stormy situations.

Illustrious Career of Hank Aaron

Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron was one of the most memorable baseball players. He and his legacy mean a lot to baseball and MLB. To date, he is celebrated and his exceptional career home runs record remains distinguished.

Hank Aaron was first signed by Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League in 1951. Due to his impressive play, the MLB quickly noticed him, and later Aaron received offers from Boston Braves and New York Giants. Henry Aaron chose Boston Braves and from his first day in the team, made records and set an example.

His determination and commitment to the gameplay made him an exceptional example for his peers and rivals. People who loved Aaron used to call him “Hammer” or “Hammerin’ Hank”. However, Henry Aaron was popular among his rivals as well. They called him “Bad Henry” as he always smacked the ball when on the field.

What changed the life of Hank Aaron was his fascinating chase for becoming the king of home runs. After more than 4 decades, Aaron broke the record of 714 home runs record of Babe Ruth. When the record was broken, everyone praised his perfection. After all, he set an example!

But this was a turning point in his life as well. Babe Ruth was a white man and Hank Aaron was a black man. Racism has always been a historic part of America and therefore Aaron too faced it. Before breaking the record, many media platforms started spewing acid and went against him. Hank Aaron faced the worst racism and hate comments. How can any fan of Babe Ruth stand the pain of record being broken by a black man?

When Hank Aaron finally broke the record and hit his 715th home run, the majority of the people started hating him all over again. He even received many death threats. But the commitment towards baseball kept Hank Aaron going forward. He didn’t back out without a fight!

Controversy with Barry Bonds

For 33 years, Hank Aaron held the highest home run record. However, when Barry Bonds broke it, a huge wave of controversy took birth. Before Barry Bonds smashed the ball and broke Hank Aaron’s record, he was already facing trials for PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) usage.

Later, Barry Bonds did agree on the usage of performance enhancing drugs mistakenly. As per him, his trainer gave them to him in name of nutritional medicines. Even then Hank Aaron congratulated him on his record-breaking home run chase. During an interview, Aaron told the host that no matter what, he does appreciate Bonds and the gameplay. What a true legend with a heart of gold!

Baseball Sports Cards of Henry Aaron

Many printing businesses printed different Hank Aaron cards. Being a widely known and loved baseball player, the worth of these magnificent sports cards is in thousands of dollars. The value of these sports cards boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic, where every sports card saw a surge in its worth.

One of the most valuable sports cards for collectors is 1954 Topps Hank Aaron. It is a rookie card of the player, which is extremely rare. Topps didn’t print another rookie card for Hank Aaron, making it the only one during his rookie era. It was sold for $357,594 which is a gem mint condition.

Another one is 1956 Topps Hank Aaron, which was produced in great quantity. The card is large with Hank Aaron’s larger portrait along with his action shot at behind. However, Topps misprinted it and the action shot is of Willie Mays. This makes a single card featuring two legends at the same time. This rare card was recently sold for $27,600 in a 2020 auction house.

1955 Topps Hank Aaron is another hit baseball card from Topps Company. Even though they used the same headshot of Henry Aaron as that of the 1954 card, the overall design is brilliant. It was sold for $15,600 during an auction held by Heritage Auctions.

These are some most popular baseball sports cards of Henry “Hank” Aaron that sold for thousands of dollars. These cards are still available in pristine condition. It means these cards can be resold at more profitable prices. The fans are already geared up to get their hands on it soon.

Wrapping Up

Becoming a part of the Baseball Hall of Fame in the first year of eligibility means a lot. This recognition was given to Henry Aaron due to his brave gameplay and incredible strategic batting. Apart from his gaming accolades, he received Presidential Medal for Freedom, Presidential Citizens Medal, Lombardi Award of Excellence.

Hank Aaron was a force of nature. He changed the world of MLB by becoming the first black man, sufficing in the world of baseball, and breaking the record of a white man. He made sports a safer place for people of color. He actively advocated for the inclusivity of black people in every sport.

His nature, charisma, and demeanor won the hearts of millions of people. Even his rivals at sports applauded him for his game and changing the world of baseball.

 

Author Bio:

Scott Trick has collected sports cards since the early 80’s and because of his love for collecting he started the website https://sportscardsauthority.com.  His favorite players are Robin Yount and Hank Aaron, but he cherishes all sports and all cards like they are art.