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APRIL 8 (1974) - 715*
By Bill Grimes
Apr 8, 2007 - 2:21 PM

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A new king is crowned!

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, APRIL 8, 1974 Henry Aaron saves the best for the home town crowd. Four days after tying Babe Ruth’s career home run record of 714 home runs on the road in Cincinnati, Hammerin Hank breaks the record before hysterical fans in Atlanta’s Fulton County Coliseum. He hits the 715th of his career off Dodger hurler Al Downing. Aaron would go on the hit 755 home runs before ending his career in 1976.



It’s not every day the career home run record is broken. The last time it happened before 1974 was 1921 when Babe Ruth broke Roger Connor’s record of 138 home runs. Connor had held it since 1895 when he broke Harry Stovey’s record of 122. So, in the entire 20th Century, just three men held the record for most home runs in a career.

The record passed through several hands in the late 1800s. Here’s a list of who and when home run records were broken, and how many the new record-holder finished that year with.

              Year        Player              HRs

            1974      Henry Aaron      733

            1921      Babe Ruth          162

            1895      Roger Connor    124

            1889      Harry Stovey      89

            1887      Dan Brouthers    74

            1885      Harry Stovey      50

            1883      Charley Jones     33

            1882      Jim O’Rourke     24

            1881      Charley Jones     23

            1879      Lip Pike             20


Lip Pike, Levi Meyerle and Fred Treacey set the first recorded career home run record with 4 in 1871.


The term “home run” was originally a descriptive one. In the early days of baseball, fences were generally farther out than they are today, so hitting a ball over the fence was rare. Inside-the-park home runs were more common because outfielders had more ground to cover. The batter had to literally run home before being tagged out to hit a “home run.”

 

Read more:

http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/aaron_hank.htm
http://www.baseball-reference.com/a/aaronha01.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Aaron
http://mlbplayers.mlb.com/stats/historical/individual_stats_player.jsp?c_id=mlb&playerID=110001




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