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Outside the Confines: If I had a hammer . . .

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Remember Hank Aaron. The Pirates trade Jameson Taillon to the Yankees. What is “seam-shifted wake” and why is such a hot topic right now?

Hank Aaron Holding Baseball Hit for 715th Home Run

Without question, my favorite baseball player when I was a child was Hank Aaron. I was just becoming aware of the sport as Aaron was chasing down Babe Ruth’s home run record. I remember having a baseball card that said “Home Run Leaders: Babe Ruth 714. Henry Aaron, 713. Willie Mays 660,” with all three of their pictures on it. I remember TV shows interrupted with special reports to say that Aaron had hit another home run in the fall of 1973. I was fortunate enough to see Aaron hit a home run for the Brewers at Milwaukee County Stadium — it was probably one of the final three or four home runs of his career.

Despite being one of the greatest players of all-time, Aaron has constantly been underrated. Probably because he played in Milwaukee and Atlanta and not New York or Los Angeles. Additionally, he wasn’t flashy, although anyone who thinks Aaron was quiet or shy wasn’t listening to him. He spoke his mind often, but he did so in a way that didn’t call much attention to himself.

I think the general consensus is that while Aaron was a great player, he wasn’t on the same level as Willie Mays. Now you can certainly make the case that Mays was the better player than Aaron and if you made me choose, I’d probably agree that Mays was a tiny bit better. But it’s a lot closer than many may realize.

So anyway, Aaron’s death hit me pretty hard.

I can’t possibly list all of the tributes to Aaron. I’ve got several here and if I missed your favorite, be sure to share it below. Also, I’ve been back on the job for four OTC so far and in three of them, I’ve had to report the death of a Hall of Famer. Coincidence or something more nefarious? I’m hoping it’s just a coincidence. I’d certainly like to be off the obituary beat sometime soon.

Also, I just want to know why Peter, Paul and Mary just didn’t go down to the hardware store if they needed a hammer. They’re not expensive.

Here’s to better days ahead, Buster.