As a kid, I was an avid baseball fan. Hank Aaron was chasing Babe Ruth’s record for most home runs, and any kid who was into the sport was following it closely.
Think about it – the guy was about to beat the legend, Babe Ruth. He had already tied the record at 714, so beating the record was all that more exciting.
Back then, my mother worked so I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house. I knew that day the game would be on TV, but my grandparents weren’t exactly sports fans, so I was relegated to the portable 13” black and white TV in the bedroom. I didn’t care – all I cared about was seeing history being made (and being able to talk about it in the schoolyard the next day).
I don’t recall much of the game except when he hit home run number 715 over the fence. I remember the big Bank Americard billboard in the outfield and the guy with the net attempting to catch the ball. I saw him run the bases, with fans in pursuit, then his teammates and parents congratulating him.
I got so excited, I knocked over the TV (it was on a stand) and the screen smashed on the floor. I remember the bright flash of light as the tubes exploded, then the silence, and the inevitable “What the hell did you do?” coming from my Grandfather on the first floor. But I did get to see baseball history.
I followed the rest of his home runs that year, just from another TV.
Here’s a great recap of the home run by the immortal Vin Scully: