On April 8, 1974, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, to break Babe Ruth’s long-standing record for round trippers.
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…
HANK AARON HITS 715TH HOME RUN
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.
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.
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.
HAMMERIN’ INTO THE SUNSET
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.