Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hammerin' Hank

I'm reading a little book right now about Hank Aaron.  It's actually just a commercial product of Sports Illustrated.  They compiled all the articles written about Aaron for the mag over the years into a book they could sell.  It's titled The Hammer:  The Best of Hank Aaron from the Pages of Sports Illustrated.  

Actually, it's pretty good.  Throughout the book so far, I've been repeatedly amazed at Aaron---really wish I could've seen him play.

I'm sure this is all old news to many baseball buffs, but it's been great for me to learn more about Mr. Wrists, a true bad ball hitter who stymied most pitchers with an astute guessing game at what pitch he was going to get.  A person who looked overtly casual in manner, but was really an intense studier of the game, with an unmatched focus on detail.

There are some great quotes from contemporaries as the book follows his young days on up through the home run record chase and beyond (the last article was published in 1994).  It's good to read pieces that were written at the time events were happening--gives a real feel for what folks thought of Aaron at various stops in his career-before they knew the history he'd be making.

I'm thoroughly enjoying this story of summer in the midst of the blustery winds of a Michigan winter.

No comments: