Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Henry Louis Aaron. What can you say? This card shows a 20 year career that is just one home run short of the all time record. 713. It must have been a terrible off-season, waiting all that time to get a shot in April. Hate mail by the truck load, much of it racist, with death threats and all. Move over Babe, here comes Henry.
Topps must have been in a slightly awkward position having to plan and announce their new home run king months in advance. Of course, it happened without too much consternation. They couldn't say what date, though, but did it matter to all the kids out there? I remember watching 714 and 715 on TV and getting caught up in the historical occasion. This card in my collection is a constant reminder.
The photograph of Hank leaves a lot to be desired. His smile is a bit too big, and his hat and uniform logos aren't visible. Maybe they wanted a big smile to go along with the occasion. Five other cards show the entire collection of Topps cards in his career to that date (see upcoming posts). The 1974 is by far the worst. It's been great to see Hank turn out to be such a spokesman - statesman, even - for baseball.
Ballpark background: [Update 09-05-10: I always enjoy trying to figure out the ballpark in the background on a ballcard. This shot appears to have been taken at the 1973 All-Star game in Kansas City. Notice the scoreboard just behind Hank's head.]