Past Time: Hank Aaron, Vin Scully, and Triple Crown Cobb

Hank’s last hurrah: On July 20, 1976 — 41 years ago today — the great Hank Aaron hit the final home run of his career, number 755.  This total was of course the highest total at the time, as he had surpassed the immortal Babe Ruth just two seasons earlier.

Aaron’s career was one of the quietest, most dominant careers in history.  The home run record, we already know.  But if you take away every single one of Hank Aaron’s home runs, he’d still have over 3,000 hits.  He batted a robust .305 over his 22 seasons, while getting on base at a .374 clip.  Oh yeah, don’t forget he is baseball’s all-time leader in RBIs with 2,297.

When I say “quietest,” I just mean people don’t talk about his career as some incredible body of work, which it was. We just look at the homers and RBIs and say “Wow, he hit a lot of home runs.”  But in seven different seasons he batted .322 or higher, his high water mark at .355 in 1959.  Also, and this is a stat I love for any hitter, he walked more (1402) than he struck out (1383).  For good measure he stole 240 bases, including 31 in 1963.

Hammerin’ Hank was one of the best hitters the world’s ever known.  While I couldn’t find footage of number 755, I jumped at the opportunity to post his historic 715th home run.  The best part about it… it’s called by Vin Scully.  What’s more “baseball” than this highlight?

 

Cobb’s Crown:  I came across a great stat that I felt like I just had to share.

Ty Cobb, baseball’s infamous villain of the early 20th century, won the Triple Crown in 1909.  He hit .377 with 9 home runs and 107 runs batted in.  Just for the hell of it, he also led the league in runs and steals as well.

Here’s the thing: All of Cobb’s home runs were inside-the-park home runs.  He never hit a ball out of the yard and won the Triple Crown!

Unsurprisingly, Cobb was the only player in the 20th century to lead the league in home runs without ever leaving the ballpark.

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