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i had a Hammer by Hank Aaron with Lonnie…

i had a Hammer (original 1991; edition 1992)

by Hank Aaron with Lonnie Wheeler

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260186,204 (3.76)21
The saga of "Hammerin' Hank," who broke Babe Ruth's homerun record and continued to play baseball despite the racism surrounding him and the sport. Awards: YALSA Best Book for Young Adults.
Title:i had a Hammer
Authors:Hank Aaron with Lonnie Wheeler
Info:Harper (1992), Unknown Binding
Collections:Your library

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I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story by Hank Aaron (1991)


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Years before Henry Aaron was even born, before Babe Ruth himself had finalized the career home run record it was Aaron’s fate to challenge, his father had scoped out the dimensions of what lay ahead. In 1928, Herbert Aaron climbed a tree to see the Babe play at Mobile’s Hartwell Field and swore “he saw Ruth hit a ball into the coal car of a train and they didn’t retrieve the ball until the train pulled into New Orleans.”

As much as Aaron’s exploits are inevitably associated with the near-mythic Ruth, experts from the era when Hank became a star thought his hitting style most resembled that of Rogers Hornsby, a hitter who with Honus Wagner and Stan Musial was one of the three greatest National League batters of the era before major-league baseball allowed black players on its fields. Hornsby was second only to Ty Cobb in lifetime batting average, and if Aaron had possessed less talent for slugging he might have challenged Ty’s hits record instead. But Aaron was beyond category. A famous quote, variously recorded by history, had it that “trying to sneak a fastball past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster.”

Written with Lonnie Wheeler, Hank Aaron’s I Had a Hammer gives baseball fans an interesting story of his life. And having myself been in the left field seats for one of his 755 dingers, I am glad to have found out what made it all possible.

Note: I’ve read that Howard Bryant’s biography of Aaron, published 19 years after this book, claims it’s a myth Hank batted cross-handed when young. But in I Had a Hammer Aaron himself says he did. I know which book I’m believing. ( )
  dypaloh | Jun 8, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aaron, Hankprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wheeler, Lonniesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The saga of "Hammerin' Hank," who broke Babe Ruth's homerun record and continued to play baseball despite the racism surrounding him and the sport. Awards: YALSA Best Book for Young Adults.

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