Uni Watch: Playin’ Footsie With Hank Aaron

From SABR member Paul Lukas on April8:

It was 37 years ago tonight that Hammerin’ Hank hit No. 715. I was 10 years old and the time and remember it clearly. NBC televised the game nationally, so I was watching in my living room when Aaron finally passed the Babe. The next day, a full-page photo of Aaron’s record-breaking swing ran in the New York Times (I think it was an “NBC Congratulates Henry Aaron” ad, or something like that), and I tacked it up on my bedroom wall, where it stayed for several years. And of course I’ve seen video of the homer countless times, just as you probably have.

In short, I thought I’d pretty well internalized and catalogued all the visual details of No. 715. But in Monday’s comments, Rick “Ricko” Pearson mentioned a uni-related aspect to Aaron’s historic shot that I’d never noticed.

First, remember that Aaron had tied Ruth, hitting No. 714, four days earlier — April 4, which was Opening Day in Cincinnati.


Aside from the obvious fact that Aaron was wearing a road uni for the first shot and home whites for the second one, notice anything else?

It’s gotta be the shoes!

Ricko says Aaron went back to plain black spikes right after April 8. I haven’t found photographic confirmation of that (good luck finding a photo of, say, Aaron’s 716th home run), but I have no reason to doubt Ricko on this — he was paying attention to this kind of stuff back then. So for the sake of this discussion, let’s take his word for that.


Read the full article here: http://www.uniwatchblog.com/2011/04/08/uni-related-mystery-regarding-hank-aarons-715th-home-run/

Originally published: April 12, 2011. Last Updated: April 12, 2011.