I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story

Front Cover
Turtleback Books, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 457 pages
21 Reviews
Henry Aaron left his mark on the world by breaking Babe Ruth's record for home runs. But the world has also left its mark on him.

"Hammering Hank" Aaron's story is one that tells us much about baseball, naturally, but also about our times. His unique, poignant life has made him a symbol for much of the social history of twentieth-century America.

Raised during the Depression in the Deep South enclave of Mobile, Alabama, Aaron broke into professional baseball as a cross-handed slugger and shortstop for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League. A year later, he and a few others had the unforgettable mission of integrating the South Atlantic League. A year after that, he was a timid rookie leftfielder for the Milwaukee Braves, for whom he became a World Series hero in 1957 as well as the Most Valuable Player of the National League.

Aaron found himself back in the South when the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1965. Nine years later, in the heat of hatred and controversy, he hit his 715th home run to break Ruth's and baseball's most cherished record--a feat that was recently voted the greatest moment in baseball history. That year, Aaron received over 900,000 pieces of mail, many of them vicious and racially charged.

In a career that may be the most consistent baseball has ever seen. Aaron also set all-time records for total bases and RBIs. He ended his playing days by spending two nostalgic seasons back in Milwaukee with the Brewers, then embarked on a new career as an executive with the Atlanta Braves. He was for a long time the highest-ranking black in baseball. In this position, Aaron has become an unofficial spokesman in racial matters pertaining to thenational pastime.

Because of the depth and pertinence of Aaron's dramatic experiences, "I Had A Hammer" is more than a baseball autobiography. Henry Aaron's candor and insights have produced a revealing book about his extraordinary life and time.

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Review: I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story

User Review  - Owen Manthe - Goodreads

I liked this book because of the great character development in Hank Aaron. The way Aaron developed in this book was phenomenal! At the start of the book Hank Aaron loved baseball as always but never ... Read full review

Review: I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story

User Review  - John - Goodreads

A story of one of the greatest baseball players of all time, in which he discusses his early life, his time in Milwaukee, and his life in Atlanta. One sees the racial attitudes that made his years in ... Read full review

About the author (1992)

Lonnie Wheeler was born in 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he worked for several newspapers including the Anderson Independent in South Carolina, the Clarion Ledger in Mississippi, and the Cincinnati Enquirer. He eventually transitioned into magazine work and writing books. His fist two books, The Cincinnati Game and Bleachers: A Summer in Wrigley Field, were published in 1988. His other works include I Had a Hammer, Stranger to the Game, and Long Shot.

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