Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America

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9780060722906: Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America

Baseball has witnessed more than 125,000 home runs. Many have altered the outcome of games, and some have decided pennants and become legend. But no dinger has had greater impact than Hank Aaron's 715th home run. His historic blast on April 8, 1974, lifted him above Babe Ruth on the all-time list, an achievement that shook not only baseball but our nation itself. Aaron's magnificent feat provoked bigotry and shattered prejudice, inspired a generation, emboldened a flagging civil rights movement, and called forth the demons that haunted Aaron's every step and turned what should have been a joyous pursuit into a hellish nightmare.

In this powerful recollection, Tom Stanton penetrates the myth of Aaron's chase and uncovers the compelling story behind the most consequential athletic achievement of the past fifty years. Three decades after Hank Aaron reached the pinnacle of the national pastime, and now as Barry Bonds makes history of his own, Stanton unfolds a tale rich with drama, poignancy, and suspense to bring to life the elusive spirit of an American hero.

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About the Author:

Tom Stanton, an award-winning journalist of twenty-five years, is the author of two memoirs, The Road to Cooperstown and The Final Season, winner of the Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year. He lives in the Detroit area with his wife and their children.

From Publishers Weekly:

In April 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's longstanding record for homers, which Aaron had days earlier tied on his first swing of the '74 baseball season. Stanton, whose The Final Season won the Casey Award for best baseball book of 2001, gives a solid account of Aaron's career and the tumultuous year preceding his historic run. This is a fitting celebration in advance of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the event, as well as a solid tribute to the man who "played in more games, got more at-bats, knocked in more runs, collected more total bases, recorded more extra-base hits, and hit more home runsâ€"755â€"than any other ballplayer." The most fascinating and horrifying part of Stanton's accountâ€"sadly for baseball historyâ€"is the extent to which Aaron's historic run was marred by constant hate mail and death threats from so-called fans angry that a black man would soon be breaking a white man's record. Stanton effectively uses ballpark attendance records to show that, while Aaron was selling out stadiums across the country, his own Atlanta Braves ballpark was "two-thirds empty" on the day that he hit home run 700, and that 10,000 seats were unsold before the day he broke the record, while 35 million to 40 million people watched or listened to the game worldwide. Stanton shows how Aaron came to understand that "the home run record carried significance beyond baseball," and how he effectively used the media attention to consciously continue the legacy of Jackie Robinson and strongly argue for the increased role of African-Americans in major league baseball management.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Baseball has witnessed more than 125,000 home runs. Many have altered the outcome of games, and some have decided pennants and become legend. But no dinger has had greater impact than Hank Aaron s 715th home run. His historic blast on April 8, 1974, lifted him above Babe Ruth on the all-time list, an achievement that shook not only baseball but our nation itself. Aaron s magnificent feat provoked bigotry and shattered prejudice, inspired a generation, emboldened a flagging civil rights movement, and called forth the demons that haunted Aaron s every step and turned what should have been a joyous pursuit into a hellish nightmare.In this powerful recollection, Tom Stanton penetrates the myth of Aaron s chase and uncovers the compelling story behind the most consequential athletic achievement of the past fifty years. Three decades after Hank Aaron reached the pinnacle of the national pastime, and now as Barry Bonds makes history of his own, Stanton unfolds a tale rich with drama, poignancy, and suspense to bring to life the elusive spirit of an American hero. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060722906

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Baseball has witnessed more than 125,000 home runs. Many have altered the outcome of games, and some have decided pennants and become legend. But no dinger has had greater impact than Hank Aaron s 715th home run. His historic blast on April 8, 1974, lifted him above Babe Ruth on the all-time list, an achievement that shook not only baseball but our nation itself. Aaron s magnificent feat provoked bigotry and shattered prejudice, inspired a generation, emboldened a flagging civil rights movement, and called forth the demons that haunted Aaron s every step and turned what should have been a joyous pursuit into a hellish nightmare.In this powerful recollection, Tom Stanton penetrates the myth of Aaron s chase and uncovers the compelling story behind the most consequential athletic achievement of the past fifty years. Three decades after Hank Aaron reached the pinnacle of the national pastime, and now as Barry Bonds makes history of his own, Stanton unfolds a tale rich with drama, poignancy, and suspense to bring to life the elusive spirit of an American hero. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060722906

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