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Friday, January 18, 2013

MEETING HANK AARON: A YANKEE FAN'S TAKE



Last week I wrote HANK AARON IS MY HOME RUN KING. Immediately, I was flooded with email. Some agreeing, others not, but truth be told, as long as you're not vicious, I love reading the mail.  Then I got one from Carmine Frosina. What he sent me blew me away.  It was a scan of the actually newspaper when Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth at 714 home runs.  I was interested… so I asked about it. How he got a hold of it? Carmine’s story is a cute one…. Enjoy this, I did.

I was home when the 714 game was on television.   There are certain numbers that you always remember…for me, it was 714 and 61. I remember when it happened and I was happy for Hank when he tied the record of 714 because of what he went through to get to that point and the nasty mail that he had gotten after this milestone.  

My father owned a town candy store. So, the next day, April 5th, I showed up early at the store. There it was on the front page.  This newspaper is from my own collection.

I should have taken more off the rack but my dad had to sell them.  At 17 years old, I didn’t want anyone to ever pass any Yankee record ever. That included when Mark McGwire broke the 62 home run record of Roger Maris in 1998 in front of the Maris family.  

But there I was, August… 1974 and my mother said, “Do you want to go see Hank Aaron at the Mall?”  I agreed. We went there because he was doing some promotional thing for Magnavox Televisions.  He signed to me… “To Carmine, best wishes, Hank Aaron.” And to this day, I still have it and will never forget that meeting...

Baseball does that to people.

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