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LastHeroReply - Dusty Carroll KNH 279 Bryant H(May 2010 The...

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Dusty Carroll KNH 279 7-02-11 Bryant, H. (May, 2010). The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. New York Hank Aaron: The Last Hero Hank Aaron has proven to be a monumental figure and his legacy will live on forever throughout the history of sports. I decided to read “The Last Hero: A life of Henry Aaron,” written by Howard Bryant. Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron was born on February 5 th , 1934 in Mobile Alabama. Nicknamed the “Hammer” or “Hammerin’ Hank”, he played major league baseball from 1954 through 1976. Mr. Aaron still, to this day, is considered one of the all-time greats. What Aaron did for the future of baseball, we will never be able to return the favor. The book focuses on the bitter aspects of racism in baseball starting in the 1950’s. When Mr. Aaron traveled with the Milwaukee Braves, multiple times he was refused service at restaurants, hotels and many other facilities. He was forced to find “white” players on his team who would bring him food out to the team bus. The bus is where Hank Aaron ate many of his meals during the beginning of his professional career. Before Mr. Aaron was signed to the major League he was signed to Indianapolis Clowns in 1952. The Clowns were a part of the Negro American League and Mr. Aaron was just another “black” on the team. His bat began to blaze with a .483 batting average in his first year with the Clown. The Negro Newspaper, Indianapolis Recorder started to fill up very quickly with columns of the “Hammerin Hank.” While Hank Aaron continued his career to fame, he signed with the Braves and began his chase for the all time home run record. In pursuit of Babe Ruth’s homerun
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record the racial tension began to grow with every home run he hit. He started receiving numerous threatening phone calls and obscene letters in the mail. The majority of the letters were from “white” people, that couldn’t stand the thought of a “white” man being out done by a “black.” Mr. Aaron stated that even in the 1970’s he heard very harsh racial comments directed at him, as he came off the field. He said it felt like the racism was back from twenty years ago, when he was playing in the minors in the south in the 1950’s. The vulgar language that he hasn’t heard in a decade was all of a sudden back and was increasing every inch he got closer to that record. Although, Mr. Aaron always held his head high and only let his bat do his talking. He handled the criticism very well, which allowed him to glide through the Major league and eventually break Babe Ruth’s
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