There are tears today in Atlanta, figuratively speaking, as Hank Aaron’s homer total slides to number two on the all-time list. I am, as many are, conflicted over this. No doubt, Bonds is a skilled player. There are few who can put wood on the ball the way he can, and there is as yet no smoking gun as regards his apparent steroid use. Even if there were, it would reflect a graver indictment on baseball itself then on a man who took advantage of MLB’s blind eye as it wooed fans back into the fold after the Great Robbery of 1994. But Bonds is unquestionably a far less classy man than Henry Aaron, and his ascendancy reflects something the game has lost.
The question nags at me: how will I share this with my daughter?
And poor Hank. What must they have had on him to make him record that message? So to Hammerin’ Hank, I dedicate Sara Martin’s “Atlanta Blues,” and with it a wish that time produces a new home run king, someone with Aaron’s carriage and good grace, someone I can admire alongside my daughter.