Two numbers will be tied to
There was 715, the number of career home runs he reached to dethrone
Here is a look at 13 facts and figures to know about one of the greatest players to pick up a bat:
1. No off years: 20 seasons of 20 homers
One surprising aspect of Aaron’s 755 career home runs is that he produced them without hitting more than 47 in a single season. A total of 47 players have produced a higher single-season total than Aaron ever did — 15 of them multiple times — and yet Aaron sits second on the all-time list behind
Aaron managed that through his relentless consistency. He is one of five players to post at least eight 40-homer seasons, one of two (along with
2. Built to last: nearly 3,300 games
You don’t hit 755 home runs without being a paragon of durability and longevity. Aaron’s 3,298 games played puts him 10 behind
3. Age is just a number: productive at 20 and 40
One thing that stands out about Aaron is that he was a tremendous young player and a tremendous old player. As for the former, he is one of 24 position players to produce a 6-WAR season at age 21 or younger, per Baseball-Reference, and ranks 10th in total WAR through age 25 (38.8). But he is also seventh in WAR at age 35 or older (31.4). Aaron’s two highest single-season OPS figures actually came at ages 37 (1.079) and 39 (1.045, albeit in only 120 games). In the five seasons from 1969-73, when Aaron was 35-39 years old, he led all Major Leaguers in slugging (.601) and OPS (.997).
4. Leaderboard legend: top 5 in many categories
In addition to home runs, games and plate appearances, Aaron ranks third all-time in hits (3,771), fourth in runs scored (2,174), first in total bases (6,856), first in extra-base hits (1,477), first in RBIs (2,297), fourth in intentional walks (293) and fifth in WAR for position players (143.1). He is one of six players to reach the hallowed milestones of 3,000 hits and 500 homers.
5. A hit machine: 3,000 hits without the HR
Take another look at that hit total: 3,771. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out what that means. Even if you took away each and every one of Aaron’s 755 home runs, he still would have cracked the 3,000-hit mark — one of the most celebrated in baseball. Homers aside, Aaron’s 3,016 hits would rank 29th in MLB history. The player who would be behind him?
6. Total domination: the king of total bases
Think about those 6,856 total bases, too. That total is 722 more than second-place
7. K’s under control: Just 112th in strikeouts
As mentioned, Aaron went to the plate more times than all but two players in baseball history, and he hit more home runs than all but one. Despite that, his lack of strikeouts is stunning — especially by modern standards. Aaron finished with 1,383 K’s (fewer than his 1,402 walks), which is only the 112th most in MLB history, through the 2020 season. Several active players have more, including
8. Afraid of no one: taming HOFers
Aaron’s most-faced pitcher was, by far, Hall of Famer
Drysdale was one of 13 Hall of Fame pitchers Aaron faced at least 25 times in his career. Aaron managed at least an .820 OPS against nine of them, with particular success facing
9. Shining bright: an annual All-Star
Aaron is the all-time All-Star, with a record 25 selections. The caveat to that number is that it includes four seasons (1959-62) in which there were multiple games. Still, Aaron was selected as an All-Star in 21 seasons (1955-75), more than any other player. He started a Midsummer Classic 17 times, behind only
10. A high floor: 15 straight years of 6 WAR
Aaron wasn’t making all of those All-Star teams just from inertia. Beginning with his second season in 1955, he produced at least 6 WAR in 15 straight years through 1969. For context, only 13 position players reached that mark in 2019, which is about average for a single season. That 15-season streak is a record, and Aaron’s 16 total seasons meeting the 6-WAR threshold ties Bonds for the most by a position player.
11. October excellence: 1.116 postseason OPS
Aaron didn’t get many chances to play in the postseason, but when he did, he took advantage by batting .362/.405/.710 with six homers and 16 RBIs in 17 games. In two of his three series (1957 World Series, 1969 National League Championship Series), he homered three times. Among those with at least 70 career postseason plate appearances, he ranks sixth in average, fifth in slugging and fifth in OPS.
12. Hard-to-get hardware: always in the MVP conversation
Despite all the production and accolades, it’s a bit shocking that Aaron is not among the 31 players to capture multiple MVP Awards. He won for the only time in 1957, which was his fourth season. Aaron never finished as the runner-up, either. But he placed third a whopping six times, received votes in 19 straight seasons (1955-73) and is tied for eighth all-time in “MVP shares,” per Baseball-Reference.
13. The ultimate big brother: first in sibling homers
Baseball has seen its fair share of impressive brother tandems (or trios), from the Waners to the DiMaggios to the Alous to the Alomars to the Uptons to the Seagers. Yet it’s the Aarons who hold the record for the most home runs by any brother combo, and it’s not especially close. This despite the fact that Hank’s younger brother, Tommie, hit just 13 big flies over parts of seven seasons with Hank’s Braves between 1961-71. That means Hank accounts for 98.3% of the Aaron brothers’ total of 768.