Baseball has witnessed more than 125,000 home runs. Many have altered the outcome of games, and some have decided pennants and become legend. But no dinger has had greater impact than Hank Aaron's 715th home run. His historic blast on April 8, 1974, lifted him above Babe Ruth on the all-time list, an achievement that shook not only baseball but our nation itself. Aaron's magnificent feat provoked bigotry and shattered prejudice, inspired a generation, emboldened a flagging civil rights movement, and called forth the demons that haunted Aaron's every step and turned what should have been a joyous pursuit into a hellish nightmare.
In this powerful recollection, Tom Stanton penetrates the myth of Aaron's chase and uncovers the compelling story behind the most consequential athletic achievement of the past fifty years. Three decades after Hank Aaron reached the pinnacle of the national pastime, and now as Barry Bonds makes history of his own, Stanton unfolds a tale rich with drama, poignancy, and suspense to bring to life the elusive spirit of an American hero.
About the Author
Tom Stanton, an award-winning journalist of twenty-five years, is the author of two memoirs, The Road to Cooperstown and The Final Season, winner of the Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year. He lives in the Detroit area with his wife and their children.
“Stanton captures the embittering and, finally, uplifting sides of Aaron’s personal story from that record-breaking campaign.”
— Library Journal
“One of 2004’s better sports histories.”
— Chicago Sun-Times
“Entertaining ...Stanton’s work best exposes...the man who hit that home run.”
— Mobile Register
“Engaging...The real story here...is of the trials this wondrous player endured on the way to his big moment.”
— Sports Illustrated
“Powerful...Baseball books rarely reach the heights of Stanton’s...Excellent.”
— Chicago Tribune