Hank Aaron and the Home Run Record

hank aaron-1Whenever April arrives each year, it isn’t difficult for my mind to turn to baseball. After enduring another winter in Chicago, especially this past one, visions of a field of green tend to come easy. I used to live a mere 1/2 mile from Wrigley Field here in Chicago (which incidentally turns 100 years old this year) and Opening Day was, and continues to be, a big deal.

Childhood Memories of Baseball

I never played baseball as a child; I was more the academic non-sport kind of kid who could be found at the library rather than on or near the playing field. But I have fond memories of trips down to Yankee Stadium each summer for the Old Timers’ Double-Header game.

My Aunt Joan and Uncle Bill organized the trip and it was also at their home in New Jersey where I witnessed Hank Aaron’s historic breaking of Babe Ruth’s home run record. That happened in April 1974. My family had driven down to visit my aunt and uncle and, as we usually did, we stayed over. I remember the broadcast of the game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers was on a Monday night, April 8th. So after dinner we settled in to watch and see when Aaron would break the home run record. There seemed to be no doubt that he could and most of the American public were certain that it would be that evening.

And in the fourth inning, the pitch was hit off into left field, flying 400 feet into the bull pen. A record was broken and memories were made for me and my family. While these event doesn’t rank up there with the proverbial “where were you when . . .” events that most of us recall, for me it is cemented in my memory. Years later I would visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York and see the Hank Aaron induction plaque and the special exhibit highlighting that special day. And those same memories came back in an instant, just as they do every Spring when baseball season starts up again.

What Are Your Baseball Memories?
With Major League Baseball launching its new season this month, have you ever thought about baseball and your own memories or the memories of family members? Remember, every family story deserves to be cherished and preserved.

Here are some baseball-related ideas for your next project including recording interviews using Saving Memories Forever:

· Did you play Little League baseball as a child? What about others in your family?
· Have you ever watched a professional baseball game in person? (either as a child or an adult) Were there any special games you remember?
· What about your own children and grandchildren: Have you told them stories about your childhood and baseball?

© 2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Thomas MacEnteeThomas MacEntee is a frequent guest blogger for Saving Memories Forever. He is also a genealogy professional specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. For more information visit http://hidefgen.com.