A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about collecting Bobby Thomson items related to his Shot Heard ‘Round the World Game. And it’s encouraged me to continue looking at other historically significant baseball events and how they relate to the sports collecting hobby. Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record with his 715th shot certainly fits the bill.
Hank Aaron finished the 1973 season 2 home runs short of breaking Ruth’s 714 home run record, which was thought to be unbreakable, and was one of baseball’s first “magic numbers.” Hank hit home run 713 on September 29th, 1973. It didn’t take him long to tie Ruth’s record, bashing a home run during his first at-bat on his first swing of the season off Jack Billingham on April 4th, 1974.
On April 8th, 1974, returning to Atlanta facing Al Downing and in front of 53775 fans, he hit a home run in the 4th inning, despite Bill Buckner doing his best to catch it, for his record 715th home run.
Here are some collectibles you can obtain related to Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record.
First, Hank Aaron has signed prints from the game.
PSA has also encapsulated, and Hank Aaron has signed, tickets from the game.
You can also find signed baseballs, with various inscriptions, featuring both Hank Aaron and Al Downing.
Two main baseball cards highlight Aaron’s feat. The first card in the 1974 Topps set highlights Aaron, as the New All-Time Home Run King, and a 1979 Topps card highlights Hank Aaron as the all-time home run record holder with Roger Maris as the seasonal home run king.
Hank Aaron’s #44 Jersey from the 715th home run game is in Cooperstown at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Aaron’s Chasing the Dream exhibit also features the bat and ball used to his home run 714, among other artifacts from his career.
Hank Aaron Terrace at the Brave’s current stadium features the bat and ball from the record 715th home run game. Additionally, there are 715 Bat Knobs to commemorate every home run he hit on the way to the record.
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