Most can't honestly understand what a single home run meant 40 years ago this week.
After all, we have seen so much change since April 8, 1974.
Heck, we even have a sitting, two-term African American president.
If you think that was a pipedream in 1974, the same would was said about a black man having the most home runs in Major League Baseball history.
Not only was it the most prestigious honor in this country, it was something few could believe a black man would have ownership of, especially after being held back from competing until 1947.
First, Jackie Robinson broke down the color barrier. Then, it was Aaron, making the national pastime ours.
Today is the 40th anniversary of Aaron's 715th home run. Aaron's homer off of Dodgers' Al Downing at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium broke Babe Ruth's long-standing record of 714 home runs.
It was a mark most thought would stand forever. After all, to that point, Ruth was considered the best player America had seen.
For Black America, it was a huge sense of pride. It was one of those moments when you knew where you were when you heard Aaron, a black man, was the MLB HR king.
So much so, that even Dusty Baker - who had a very good baseball career himself - calls it his greatest moment in his career.
And Baker was simply in the on-deck circle, watching Aaron hit that homer on that unforgettable night.
"People ask me, 'What was the highlight of your career?' That was it," Baker told the AP recently.
It was such a big deal that not all celebrated. In fact, Aaron was more relieved than happy.
He was put through hell, getting there. Some couldn't stomach the idea of a black man being The Man.
Aaron received racists hate mail and death threats. His college-age kids had security people watching over them during their dad's pursuit of a piece of American history.
Aaron stood brave and prevailed.
Aaron, now 80, has enjoyed that moment more so now than when it was happening. Fans have been kind to Aaron as the years have gone on. "It means an awful lot to me," he said.
The Braves will wear an Aaron 40th anniversary patch on their uniform sleeves this season to mark the historic occasion.http://www.clickondetroit.com/sports/pa ... 948?item=0