My family took a road trip to ATL from Pensacola and saw him play the same season he broke Ruth's record. It was a real thrill just to see him walk up to the plate. A magnificent (and yes, underrated) ballplayer and a great man - RIP Hammerin' Hank. Setting the HR record without turning himself into an East German swimmer means he is indeed the real HR king. Losing him and Don Sutton in the space of a couple of days is just gutting.
While at home for lunch I was watching the coverage on MLB Network with both his on and off the field accomplishments. He was no doubt an amazing human being with words like "grace", "kind" and "joyful" being used to describe him from people who knew him. From a baseball perspective, his statistics are absolutely mind boggling. I've told people for a long time, he's one of the top three greatest hitters of all time. RIP Hammerin' Hank!
A classy, classy gentleman... in Mobile he was a legend.
We lived across from Ladd Stadium...one day my dad was hitting fly balls to me in the grass parking lot...I was about 10 -- 1961 or so. A young African American man comes out and asks Dad to hit him some as well. He was so fleet and Dad could not hit a fly ball that he could not run down. I was stunned...as we went home my Dad said that the man was going to spring training....his name was Tommie something. I later saw him on TV -- Tommie Agee.
Several times a year the black kids and white kids would meet on the parking lot, divide up teams, and play. They were not allowed to play on our Little League, etc. We had a great time...and it was then that I realized how slow I really was.