Aaron’s 755 looks safe for now

Henry Aaron has been largely silent as Barry Bonds zeroes in on his home run record.

While he praised Selig for doing the right thing in appointing an investigation into steroids in baseball, he guardedly said he would congratulate Bonds if Barry were reach 756. “I wouldn’t say anything, just ‘God Bless You,'” Aaron said to the Associated Press. Can you really blame him for this reservation?

During his run at Ruth’s record in the 1970s, Aaron was on the receiving end of a lot of racist backlash. Now, thirty years later, Bonds is suffering in the eyes of the public but for vastly different reasons. Aaron’s treatment reflected the strain of race relations in the United States. Bonds’ treatment shows what happens in the court of public opinion to someone who may have cheated. While Bonds tries to play the race card, fans are hesitant at best to embrace his pursuit of the record because of his close ties to the BALCO court case and baseball’s current steroid scandal.

For Aaron, Bonds’ pursuit must be something to watch because these two players, while both immensely talented, have put together vastly different career profiles. Bonds, now famous for his late-career resurgence, has always been a flashy player. He made enemies in Pittsburgh with the Pirates’ management and took to calling Andy Van Slyke the Great White Hope because Slyke was better paid and more well-liked them him.

But for his attitude and talk, Bonds has been miles better than any other player in baseball even when you don’t consider his home runs. He won Gold Gloves seven times out of eight years in the 1990s. He won three MVP awards in the early 1990s and four so far in the twenty-first century. He’s topped 500 stolen bases and has over 2700 career hits.

While Bonds has put up gaudy totals in spurts while maintaining an overall level of excellence, Aaron was consistently at the top of his game from 1955 until 1973…

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4 Responses to “Aaron’s 755 looks safe for now”


  1. 1 cj April 15, 2006 at 4:57 am

    Great that you got a Quote from Ruth, good research! Helpful.

  2. 2 Benjamin Kabak April 15, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for the (sarcastic) correction, CJ. Oddly enough, the version posted on my current blog (Double Play Depth) had the right name. I don’t know how that happened, but it’s been updated. Your overly friendly comment helped me there 🙂

  3. 3 Ryan B May 3, 2006 at 12:36 pm

    I heard that Bud wouldn’t hold any special celebration if Bonds did get 756+ because of the whole steroid and BALCO fiascos because it would say that the MLB supports those activities

  4. 4 taking anabolic steroids November 26, 2006 at 7:56 pm

    I say leave these guys alone! it is a joke to think they have caught everyone who has used anabolic steroids, and it is a joke to thnk that no one who has gotten a record in the MLB was clean!


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