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  #1  
Old 01-01-2018, 09:02 AM
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Default THE Hank Aaron Thread

So, inspired by the Brock and Clemente threads, I want to start a thread for my favorite player.

When I was a kid, my close friend/card rival at the time, a guy named Michael, and I competed to find troves of vintage cards around Manhattan. He collected Clemente, I collected Mays, who I started to idolize at age 8 when he returned to NY to play for the Mets. My uncle took me to Shea once to see the great man and I got to see Lou Brock play too. With the help of the ASCCA show in 1976 I put together a run of every Topps Mays card. I remember turning down a 1951 Bowman at the show saying "I don't collect those."

I had the Mays cards until I was in my twenties. I soured on Mays later in life, once I met the man at a show. I was very excited to meet him, of course, a boyhood idol and all, so I carefully rehearsed what I was going to say when I was finally in the presence of the great man. I said my piece, Mays didn't even acknowledge me, just rolled my baseball across the table to the handler like he was shooing a cockroach from his dinner plate. I was so disappointed in that non-interaction that I sold off my entire Mays collection, 1952-1973, including the autographed ball [which I'd had Mantle and Snider sign too]. For years I refused to own a Mays card. I've made peace with the 'Say Nothing' Kid since then--you gotta have Mays in a baseball card collection--but the idolization was dead the moment I left his presence.

Hank Aaron was my #2 as a kid. I remember Aaron's quest for the record in the early 1970s. I was too young and too innocent to understand the social and racial ugliness that existed around the edges of the quest; all I knew was that Henry Aaron ["OH! Henry!" as the candy commercial said] was the greatest baseball player around, especially after 1973 when Mays was gone. I was so thrilled to pull an Aaron card from a pack, something I did in 1971-72-73-74-75-76, and had so much fun chasing down the record-holding cards in 1973 and the Hank Aaron Special series in 1974. My respect for the man and his accomplishments has done nothing but grow over the years, especially after I read his autobiography and realized what he had to endure in 1973-74 when he neared 714. And best of all, when I got to meet him, Mr. Aaron was every bit the kind gentleman I'd hoped for him to be. So, with that, I will start with the autograph I collected from him in person:



Helluva nice souvenir ticket too. Bonus: the photo used to make the ticket:



My favorite childhood Aarons (obviously, the slabs came later):



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Last edited by Exhibitman; 01-01-2018 at 09:04 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2018, 09:26 AM
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Fantastic! Sorry about the Mays experience though.

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  #3  
Old 01-01-2018, 12:41 PM
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Default Hank Aaron

Adam,

So glad that you followed suit and started a thread with Hank Aaron. Really like the Aaron items you posted so far. The signed exhibit, which you got personally, and the really neat ticket from the signing are very cool pieces. Aaron is a great player to collect; you picked well.

I personally couldnít collect a player that wasnít a nice individual as well. Have heard so many negative accounts with Mays over the years; itís sad really.

Thanks for starting the thread. I look forward to keeping up with your postings.
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:31 PM
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Aaron is one of my favorites as well! I never saw him play, but there was always an aura to the name .....

My first Aaron card which I slabbed later

1956Aaron.jpg

I have many Aaron cards, but this is my favorite. To this day, it is also one of my favorite cards ever, and at one point, I owned 4 of them lol
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  #5  
Old 01-01-2018, 02:16 PM
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Great write up. I can only imagine how popular Aaron would be if he would have played in New York.

Last edited by jb67; 01-01-2018 at 02:16 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-01-2018, 02:38 PM
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I guess itís possible Mays was simply having a bad day. Stinks though. I had a similar thing happen with a not so legendary player Mark McGwire of all people, lol. I was in my late twenties and he probably figured I was just gonna flip it but I really just wanted his autograph.

Anyway Hank Aaron is the man and Iíve always heard he was a complete gentleman. Canít wait to see what youíve got.

Iím curious about one thing though, can anyone post something in these player threads or should it be only for the OP to post?
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2018, 03:03 PM
Marchillo Marchillo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal View Post
Aaron is one of my favorites as well! I never saw him play, but there was always an aura to the name .....

My first Aaron card which I slabbed later

Attachment 300783

I have many Aaron cards, but this is my favorite. To this day, it is also one of my favorite cards ever, and at one point, I owned 4 of them lol
Ironic the card posted in this thread of Hank Aaron has a picture of Mays sliding.

Good stories.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2018, 03:32 PM
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Not to stray off topic too far, but I have to imagine there's a reason Mays acts the way he does/did toward fans. I wish he were more gracious, but I don't hold it against him that he's not.

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  #9  
Old 01-01-2018, 04:23 PM
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Great thread Adam.

I've had this Aaron auto for as long as I can remember. Always assumed I got it signed in person at a show when I was a kid but not sure. Any thoughts on whether it's legit or not.

AndyH
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File Type: jpg 1970 Aaron Auto.jpg (10.0 KB, 171 views)
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2018, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exhibitman View Post

I had the Mays cards until I was in my twenties. I soured on Mays later in life, once I met the man at a show. I was very excited to meet him, of course, a boyhood idol and all, so I carefully rehearsed what I was going to say when I was finally in the presence of the great man. I said my piece, Mays didn't even acknowledge me, just rolled my baseball across the table to the handler like he was shooing a cockroach from his dinner plate. I was so disappointed in that non-interaction that I sold off my entire Mays collection, 1952-1973, including the autographed ball [which I'd had Mantle and Snider sign too]. For years I refused to own a Mays card. I've made peace with the 'Say Nothing' Kid since then--you gotta have Mays in a baseball card collection--but the idolization was dead the moment I left his presence.
I had a similar experience with Mickey Mantle. Of all the players I met during the 80s, he was the worst. When I was putting together the 1952 Topps set, that was the last card I bought and I never would have bought it if I wasn't doing a Topps set run.
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