Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run, surpassing the 714 home runs hit by New York Yankees’ legend Babe Ruth.
As could be expected, remembering Aaron’s accomplishment opens up one of the biggest bar topics of all time: who is the true home run king?
Aaron went on to finish with 755 round trippers and Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig still acknowledges that as the record — as do many others.
Or is it still Babe Ruth? The man single-handedly changed the way the game was played as his mark of 714 was thought of as untouchable.
What about Japanese great Sadaharu Oh? The Yomiuri Giants legend, he of the high leg kick, finished with a world record 868 long balls.
How do you feel about Josh Gibson? The legendary Negro Leagues player was called the “black Babe Ruth.” Since there are no complete Negro Leagues statistics, no one knows for sure home many bombs he hit, but the general consensus is Gibson hit 900 four baggers.
The answer is none of the above. Until MLB records are no longer considered the end all, be all, the correct answer is: Barry Bonds.
Why? Because the record book says so. In MLB’s official record book, you will find Bonds at the top of the list, with 762 next to his name. It’s right there in black and white. Until baseball can find a way to erase the record, that is the mark to beat.
We all know the reason. Bonds’ involvement with PEDs during the “Steroid Era” put a stain on the all-time home run record and many people refuse to acknowledge Bonds’ number.
You can argue the merits of the other players I mentioned until you’re blue in the face, the correct answer will still be Bonds.
Because you can’t pick and choose which records you accept and which you do not. Baseball tried that once. When Roger Maris hit home run No. 61 to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record, it went into the record book with an asterisk next to it. Many believed that there be a distinction between Ruth’s record set in 154 games and Maris’ number accomplished in 162 contests.
In 1991, 30 years after Maris set the mark, the asterisk was officially removed from the record book. Of course, several players — including Bonds — have since surpassed Maris’ number.
Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose is still the all-time hit leaders with 4,256 knocks over a 23-year career, despite the fact he has been banished from baseball making for betting on the game.
Anyone who has played baseball in the United States or is a fan of the game acknowledge the records set in Major League Baseball are the official numbers for the game. Officially, the home run king is Barry Bonds’ 762. Love it or hate, that’s the number.
Menlo School announced Wednesday former boys’ varsity basketball coach Kris Weems is the school’s new athletic director.
He replaces Craig Schoof, who announced in February he was stepping down as A.D. and baseball coach at the end of the season after 27 years with the school.
“I am really excited about the opportunity and to be back with the Menlo community,” Weems said in a press release. “I learned a lot at Menlo as a coach, then that experience was taken to another level when I joined the development office and got the chance to be involved on a daily basis with the staff and students.”
Not only does the job cover the Knights’ prep program, Weems will also be tasked with implementing a game plan to cover athletics from sixth through 12th grades.
It’s an exciting way to run a program,” Weems said. “It allows for some symmetry and correlation that begins with sixth grade and builds a bridge, so that the coaches and staff can give the students the support they need as they’re growing and maturing. We can help with the process throughout — to make sure that they have a good experience on the floor, so that they’ll be better students as well.”
Following a four-year career playing basketball at Stanford where he was part of four Cardinal teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament, Weems was named Menlo’s boys’ basketball coach in 2004 and guided the Knights to a 138-60 record and the 2008 and 2009 Central Coast Section Division IV titles.
He left following the 2011 season to take a position in the Warriors coaching ranks, where he worked in player development and scouting.
Before leaving, however, Weems immersed himself in the Menlo community, working in the school’s development office, where he coordinated the school’s hall of fame and helped raise funds.
“Kris knows the school well and understands at a deep level the challenges and opportunities of building a strong athletics program in an environment of academic excellence,” Menlo Head of School Than Healy said in a press release.
Nathan Mollat can be reached by phone: 344-5200 ext. 117 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You follow him on Twitter@CheckkThissOutt.