On this day in Alabama history: Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth’s home run record

On this day in Alabama history: Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth’s home run record
Baseball player Hank Aaron, c. 1955. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

April 4, 1974

Hank Aaron came from humble beginnings in Mobile to become one of the all-time baseball greats. His major league career began in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves, a team that later moved to Atlanta. On opening day 1974, the Atlanta Braves were in Cincinnati facing the Reds when Aaron – at bat for the first time that season – hit a three-run blast over the head of outfielder Pete Rose to tie Babe Ruth’s home run record of 714, set in 1935. Then-Vice President Gerald Ford was there and came onto the field to congratulate Aaron amid a standing ovation from the Cincinnati fans. Four days later, Aaron would break Ruth’s record and go on to hit 755 home runs. Aaron would hold the record for 33 years.

Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama and the National Baseball Hall of Fame

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

Related Stories