Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Hank Aaron and 715

It happened 40 years ago tonight, and it's one of my earliest baseball memories.

Hank Aaron hit a 1-0 fastball off Al Downing of the Dodgers to eclipse the mark set by Babe Ruth when he walked away in 1935. While the arguments that compare eras and the dead ball, and the Negro Leagues and so on factor into the discussion, the most clear factor was that by the end of the night, Aaron had 715 home runs, and Ruth had 714.

My point is that we're not here to debate better players and such. Let's just relive the moment itself.

That night, there were three different play-by-play men behind the microphone. It probably comes as little shock that I have all three of them. Arguably, the most famous is Milo Hamilton's excitable shout on the Braves radio broadcast. His call is the last in the montage embedded below. Vin Scully, baseball's witness to seemingly all great historical moments, was at the mic on the Dodgers broadcast and is in the middle. NBC, recognizing the importance of the game back when baseball on TV was truly a special and important thing, dispatched Curt Gowdy and company to Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. That is the first call of the three.

I won't even try to tease you. You know which of the three below is the call that I prefer. The professional it-isn't-about-me call of Vin Scully.

Listen for yourself.

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