Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail to someone

On April 8, 1974, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, to break Babe Ruth’s long-standing record for round trippers.

Today in Sports History presented by Starr Cards

Aaron entered the ’74 season needing only two home runs to tie, then pass Ruth’s mark. The first came on Opening Day off of Cincinnati Reds hurler Jack Billingham. The second came shortly thereafter…


In the fourth game of the season, the Aaron’s Atlanta Braves played host to the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of a sellout crowd of 53,775 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

Hank Aaron rounds the bases after home run No. 715

In Aaron’s second appearance at the plate, he smacked a 1-0 pitch from Al Downing over the left-centerfield wall to tie the game at three apiece – and surpass Ruth. The Braves would go on to win the game 7-4.

''What a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.''

— Broadcaster Vin Scully, on Aaron's 715th HR

Despite Aaron having received numerous death threats and racial animus in the pursuit of Ruth’s record, two college students were able to easily avoid security to pat the startled record-breaker as he rounded the bases.


Aaron would hit 40 more home runs over the course of the rest of the 1974 season and the 1975-76 campaigns with the Milwaukee Brewers, leaving him with 755 for his career. Aaron’s 2,297 RBI and 6,856 total bases remain big league records.