The Hammer: The Best of Hank Aaron

The Hammer: The Best of Hank Aaron / 2007 Borders / $14.95 / 144M / 1:50 /

The subtitle of this book is “From the Pages of Sports Illustrated”, and the tile really gives individuals a good idea what focus that the book may have. This was culled together from the material written about Hank Aaron throughout eir career by the individuals at Sports Illustrated. More so, the language used to describe Aaron is kept as it was originally written. Thus, if there are instances of the word “Negro”, it is present. Preserving history and not trying to revise Aaron’s history is the first step forward by this book, which uses good many of Sports Illustrated’s most famous wrights. This list includes Roy Terrell, William Leggett, George Plimpton and Mike Capuzzo.

The small text in this already-small volume may be a little on the hard side to read, but it does means that individuals will spend a decent amount of time reading through these solid pieces. A criticism about this book has to be the pictures. While there are a decent amount of them, they are bundled together in two specific sections. Obviously, the cost to intersperse the pictures would have been higher if Sports Illustrated wanted to have them be in color, but I don’t see how adding a black and white picture to the beginning page of a piece would have hurt matters any. Still, the writing in this book is solid and will give individuals a little more context into the career of one of baseball’s best hitters. I can’t foresee Sports Illustrated doing the same for Barry Bonds, so that makes this volume all the more sweet.

Sure, it would be easy to search down these articles in the online SI archive, but this puts them all together in an easy to read format. For individuals like me that were born after Aaron’s career had ended, “The Hammer” gives individuals a better understanding of why Aaron was such a stand up player and how eir behavior varies from the rest of the stars in baseball today. Interesting, funny, and at times touching, “The Hammer” is the complete picture of a major baseball star; pick the book up if you have any love for America’s pastime, and make sure to read through from cover to cover to get the full story. Maybe we could see one of these for some of the other storied baseball stars of all time, perhaps even someone as awesome as Nolan Ryan (but I’m letting personal bias show).

Rating: 6.8/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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