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  • can you put into context just how revered he waas in this game?

  • Well, I have a million stories about that.

  • But in 2014, Aaron Boone, who grew up in a baseball family, his dad was a big leaguer.

  • His grandfather was a big leaguer.

  • Aaron grew up at major league ballparks.

  • He could talk to anybody about anything.

  • And during that All Star Game, he went into an elevator and stood next to Hank Aaron and Aaron.

  • Boone couldn't even speak to Hank Aaron.

  • I said Why?

  • And Aaron looked at me and he goes because it's Hank Aaron.

  • That's how revered he was.

  • He was so in awe of air in the player and the man.

  • He couldn't even find the words to say hello.

  • And the same thing happened to Craig Counsell of the Brewers.

  • He was working in the Brewers front office a few years ago when Aaron called him out of the audience at a get together and wanted him to speak about how council a Milwaukee kid had somehow made it to the major leagues and council remembers thinking to himself, I can't go up there and talk because that's Hank Aaron and then Hank Aaron started asking him questions, and council told me I cannot believe this is happening to me.

  • Hank Aaron is asking me questions about baseball.

  • That's how revered he was around the game and the highlight of my entire career.

  • 41 years of covering baseball was several years ago.

  • Hank Aaron came into the booth and sat next to day Fleming, Eduardo Perez and myself for four innings.

  • It was unbelievable.

  • How kind and gentle he Wasit was unbelievable.

  • His recall of all the games that he and others had played.

  • It was the warmest, funniest night I've ever spent a major league ballpark.

  • And after the game, I looked on Twitter, which I don't do very often, and some guy wrote in and said, If you find anyone in your life who looks at you like Tim Kurkjian looked at Hank Aaron, you should marry that person.

  • That's how revered Hank Aaron was for me and for everyone that he ran into Tim Kurkjian.

  • I mean, just listen, looking at your piece and and what you put together about Hank Aaron, you obviously highlighted what he had to endure.

  • Um, what I marvel at is the fact that he was able to with withstand it, to overcome it, to excel in spite of it all.

  • I wonder how much, if anything at all did he hold on to all of those years because of what he endured and had to experience while he was ascending in major league baseball?

  • And if he ever shared anything with you that stood with that stood with you to this day about what he had to endure, how it made him truly field?

  • Well, he told us that night on the air just how difficult it waas.

  • But instead of saying Woe is me, look what I have to go through.

  • Instead, he acknowledged just how much stronger it made him.

  • He's one of the strongest men that we've ever met, not in a physical sense, but in a mental and an emotional sense.

  • And I think the passing of Hank Aaron that night was all that he needed to move on to.

  • The next stage is you guys know Tom House, the A picture former pitcher caught number 7 15 in the left center field bullpen and when he ran the ball into home plate and handed it toe.

  • Hank Aaron.

  • Hank Aaron was in tears, and Tom House said, I've never seen Hank Aaron cry before.

  • That's how emotional it was.

  • But from that moment on, he was able to forget for the most part, the hatred and the racism that he faced.

  • And for him to not constantly bring that up to people was just shows you.

  • What a amazing man he waas Tim.

  • It occurs to me when you talked about how he's underrated, how underrated.

  • Just as a baseball player, it's hard enough for young people to get their minds around how big baseball was then.

  • It was bigger than the n f l and N B A combined.

  • It was economy was huge.

  • It took up a huge part of the public imagination.

  • There were fewer entertainment options.

  • And when you talk about how what a great player he was and you said he was overshadowed by more dynamic players.

  • The one who comes to mind, of course, is Willie Mays, who cut came up a few years before.

  • Hank Aaron, who probably a lot of people, wanted to be the guy who broke the home run record, who was a little more spectacular and played center field, and all Hank Aaron did was keep hit, not just hitting home runs, but being a great player year after year after year.

  • Ultimately, what do you think his legacy is?

  • Well, he's certainly one of the greatest players of all time.

  • And Max, you've you've already given the key note here.

  • You take away all his home runs and he still has 3000 hits.

  • That's how great a hitter he waas and many years ago I did a very informal poll of the greatest defense of players at each position and Hank Aaron in my very informal poll.

  • But I talked to a lot of people had Hank Aaron is the third greatest defensive right fielder ever.

  • He could run the bases.

  • He was a great outfielder.

  • He didn't just hit for power.

  • He hit for average.

  • He hit when it was really needed.

  • Ask anyone who saw the Milwaukee Braves, especially back then.

  • That's who Hank Aaron was.

  • For all of his greatness.

  • We still underrate him because he never hit 50 home runs in a season, of course, has the most homers ever for anyone who never hit 50.

  • But he hit 40 like every year.

  • He was just so amazingly reliable with everything that he did on the baseball field.

  • And, as you know, Stephen A and Max and Mollie, he had the biggest, strongest hands and risk that you've ever seen.

  • So I asked him about the broadcast, that one.

  • That night I said, Where did that come from?

  • And he said, Well, first off, my dad was a boxer, so he had big hands and wrists and he said, and he used to carry blocks of ice up many stairs in order to bring it and deliver it to people.

  • And he said, That's where I developed my hand strength.

  • I'd go with my dad holding these giant blocks of ice in these ice tongs, he said.

  • That's where my really big and hard and hard Risks came from.

can you put into context just how revered he waas in this game?

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Tim Kurkjian remembers the life of baseball legend Hank Aaron | First Take

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/26
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