I had two boyhood heroes growing up. Elvis. And Henry Aaron.
In grade school in the line that walked back to our classroom from daily Mass at St. Anthony’s School my good friend Fred Nicklaus and I would get into a friendly discussion about who was better: Aaron or Willie Mays. If Mays hit a HR the night before Fred would let me hear about it. Of course, I had plenty of chances at payback.
During my radio broadcasting career I had a wonderful opportunity to interview Aaron a few times. I remember the time we talked about the importance of building a new baseball stadium for Milwaukee. And contributed to a week-long award series I produced on memories of Milwaukee County Stadium. Those tapes are buried somewhere in my basement.
Aaron died today. He was 86.
One of the major highlights in his career came at County Stadium in 1957. Earl Gillespie made the play-by-play call.
Milwaukee Braves’ Hank Aaron is carried from the baseball field Sept. 23, 1957, by teammates after they won the National League pennant with a 4-2 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo)
New Yorkers called us bush league. We made them eat their words as the Braves went to beat the mighty New York Yankees in the 1957 World Series.