Sunday, July 10, 2022

1986 Sportflics Decade Greats: Henry Aaron


We are now entering the 1960s section of the set. I'm not sure if I'll go past to the "less vintage" 70s and 80s.

The player: Henry Aaron was one of the greatest baseball players who ever lived. He was an excellent right fielder who won three Gold Gloves. He was a real speed threat, stealing 240 bases despite playing much of his career in an era where the stolen base was seldom used. He was a marvelous hitter, with a .305 lifetime average and winning two batting titles. He walked more than he struck out for his career. But of course, Hammerin' Hank is best known for his power. He broke Babe Ruth's career record with 755 over 23 seasons, a record that stood for decades, and is considered by many to be the real home run king.  The record was achieved not by a few unreal seasons, but by amazing consistency - he hit at least 20 home runs a year for 20 years (1955 to 1974), topping 30 home runs in 15 of those seasons. To this day he is the all-time leader with 2,297 RBI and 6,858 total bases. Unfortunately he was not surrounded by a lot of talent during his career, but the three times he made the postseason he continued his greatness, hitting over .300 in each series, and hitting .362 with 6 HR and 16 RBI in 17 total games.

The man: This card calls Aaron "Henry" and not "Hank". A quiet individual, he was known as Henry to family and friends; the Braves began referring to him as Hank early in his career to make him seem more fan-friendly. Aaron's quiet strength helped him endure the racism he encountered throughout his career, from playing in the segregated South in his minor league career, to his legendary chase of Babe Ruth's home run record. After his career, he took on a front office role with the Braves, and owned chains of restaurants and car dealerships. He died in 2021.

My collection: I'm fortunate enough to own six of Aaron's Topps cards from his playing days - 1956 (my best blog contest win ever, from It's Like Having My Own Card Shop), a very heavily worn 1967, and his last four - 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976.


  1. Definitely a gentleman. His rookie is one of if not my favorite cards.

  2. Great way to add the 1956 Topps Aaron to your collection. That has to be one of the best card blog prizes offered.

  3. Huh, never heard of him. Sounds like he was an alright player though, at least for his time :)