Famed slugger Hank Aaron rejoined the Milwaukee Brewers this week in an attempt to keep his record for career home runs in the major leagues. Aaron retired in 1976 with 755 homers under his belt. This year Barry Bonds has been closing in on Aaron, hitting his 752nd and 753rd shots only a few days ago.
Aaron, who is now 73 years old, says he's been working out for a couple of years now in case this became necessary. He stepped up to the plate Wednesday to pinch hit in the 8th inning as the Brewers were losing 7-2 in Cincinnati. Facing an 0-2 count, the man once known as Hammerin' Hank swung at a changeup and knocked it over the left field fence, upping his total to 756. Despite Aaron's contribution, the Brewers were unable to produce any more runs and lost the game 7-3.
Brewers' manager Ned Yost says that he figures Aaron will pinch hit a few times a week, and probably will not make it into the regular line-up because his defensive skills have fallen off. Aaron says he hopes to show them he can handle first base.
Barry Bonds is reportedly upset about Aaron's return. A YouTube video, apparently taken on a cell phone, shows Bonds complaining that the Brewers are putting Aaron in situations where the game is decided and the other team's pitchers are throwing easy pitches. The pitch Aaron hit was clocked at a rather low speed of 70 mph. Nevertheless, Bonds' criticism prompted an avalanche of attacks from sportswriters accusing Bonds of poor sportsmanship. Bonds says the video is a fake and he "is rooting for the old man."
Aaron's 756th home run ball was caught by a British man with an odd mustache, who said his name is "Mark", but refused to reveal his last name. He said he hoped to sell the ball for "a few quid" so he could "pay those bloody writers." Further details could not be obtained, but the ball appears to be on sale on eBay with bidding up to $125,000.