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715. Forty years ago today.

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  • 715. Forty years ago today.

    ATLANTA -- Forty years later, Hank Aaron appreciates the opportunity to reminisce without having to deal with the anger, fear and unwanted pressure that consumed him as he created what still stands as one of the most celebrated moments in baseball history.

    Baseball fans have long viewed footage of the historic home run Aaron hit on April 8, 1974, and recognized it as the moment Babe Ruth's "unbreakable" record was broken.

    But as Aaron reflects on the momentous home run he sent over Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium's left-field wall on that April night 40 years ago, he does not remember the celebratory joy it created as much as he does the relief that he felt after going through the previous year being subjected to hate mail, racist threats and escalated media scrutiny.

    "Sometimes you think about it, and it was a moment you should have been enjoying yourself," Aaron said. "Then you look back, and it wasn't that way, because there were so many other things that were involved in life. All the things that people were talking about, hateful things."

    Time has not necessarily healed all of the wounds created by the threats and hateful remarks that were hurled in Aaron's direction as he neared Ruth's record. But at 80 years old, "The Hammer" now at least savors the fact that there were also many fans who celebrated the accomplishment that will once again draw the baseball world's attention this week.
    I remember watching that on TV.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now