Friday, April 4, 2003

Ohio Moments

Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth's record

On April 4, 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 714th career home run at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium, tying the record held by Babe Ruth. The Atlanta Braves outfielder had chased the record the previous season, but was one home run shy when the season ended. The Braves, who wanted Aaron to tie the record at home, tried to bench him for the Opening Day game in Cincinnati, but the commissioner ordered them to put Aaron in. More than 52,000 fans attended the opener that day in 1974 - a record Opening Day crowd. During Aaron's first turn at bat, he had a three-ball, one-strike count when he hit Jack Billingham's pitch over the fence in left-center field for a three-run homer. The Reds fans not only witnessed baseball history, but saw their team win that day. The Reds trailed the Braves 6-2 in the eighth inning when Tony Perez brought them to within one with a three-run home run of his own. The Big Red Machine won 7-6 in 11 innings.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361.

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