Congratulations Hank Aaron!

Last night Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run, breaking your career record. You could have ignored this event completely with a shrug and a simple “No comment.” You could have easily joined in the national chorus chanting “Steroids!” But no, there you were during the celebration at San Francisco’s AT&T Park, on screen, making the most gracious congratulatory comments.

“Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball, and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement.”

I wasn’t surprised. You’ve always been a gentleman, dating back to your early days here in Milwaukee, one of the classiest acts ever.

I remember when you were close to breaking Babe Ruth’s record of 714 home runs in 1974, and the grief you and your family took from the lunatic fringe of society. You received death threats, for crying out loud! Still you went out and played the game with grace, humility and dignity, and fairly, the way it was designed. You were, and are, an inspiration.

Youngsters looking for role models in professional athletes had a rare opportunity to see one of the best last evening. All they had to do was look at the center field video board … after the hit … and listen to you.

Congratulations, Hank!

Randy Jaroch

Johnson Direct LLC


The comments expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of Johnson Direct LLC.