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Hammerin' back at racism

"Hammerin' Hank"

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
By and about Hank Aaron

Quotes by Hank Aaron

  • "I can't recall a day this year or last when I did not hear the name of Babe Ruth."
    --As he approached Ruth's record of 714 home runs, quoted in "Babe" by Robert Creamer

  • "I used to love to come to the ballpark. Now I hate it. Every day becomes a little tougher because of all this. Writers, tape recorders, microphones, cameras, questions and more questions. Roger Maris lost his hair the season he hit 61. I still have all my hair, but when it's over, I'm going home to Mobile and fish for a long time."
    --As he approached Ruth's record, quoted in "Hammerin' Hank" by Dan Schlossberg

  • "The average person can't realize what a nightmare this has been. The last 10 days of the season, all winter, spring training, right up till today. Now I'm just tired. Not let down--just tired. I'm beat."
    --After hitting home run #715, quoted in the "New York Times" on April 14, 1974

  • "Yogi, I came up here to hit not to read."
    --On coming to bat in the '58 World Series and answering Yankee catcher Yogi Berra's "Henry, you'd better turn the trademark around so you can read it. Otherwise you'll break your bat." widely quoted

  • "If I knew exactly what I know now and had it to do over, I'd be a switch hitter. No telling what I could have done."
    --Quoted in "Hank Aaron...714 and Beyond" by Jerry Brondfield

    Quotes about Aaron

  • "I'm mad at Hank for deciding to play one more season. I threw him his last home run and thought I'd be remembered forever. Now I'll have to throw him another."
    --Bill Lee, widely quoted

  • "I'd throw my best pitch and hope like hell he hits it. It'd be a commodity. I'd always be in demand on the banquet cirquit."
    --Tug McGraw on the possibility of pitching to Aaron when he was about to break Ruth's record, quoted by AP

  • "As far as I'm concerned, Aaron is the best ball player of my era...He is to baseball of the last 15 years what Joe DiMaggio was before him."
    --Mickey Mantle, quoted in "Baseball Digest" in June 1970

  • "He is loose and agile as a cat. When he hits the ball--man, it's like thunder."
    --Mickey Mantle, quoted in "Baseball Digest" in June 1970

  • "It's like the sun coming up every morning. You just don't know what time."
    --Phil Niekro on Aaron's ability to hit homers, quoted in "Detroit Free Press" on July 23, 1973

  • "Slapping a rattlesnake across the face with the back of your hand is safer than trying to fool Henry Aaron."
    --Claude Osteen, quoted in "Hank Aaron...714 and Beyond" by Jerry Brondfield

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