The 100 Greatest in 100 Days: #7 Hank Aaron

Pounding into the list at #7 is “Hammerin’” Hank Aaron. Aaron’s career embodies the intersection of longevity and production. His career statistical output is almost too voluminous to believe. He is baseball’s all-time leader with 2,297 RBIs. Only four other players have even reached 2,000. He’s the all-time leader in extra-base hits with 1,477. Only six other players have even reached 1,200. He’s the all-time leader in total bases with an astounding 6,856 which are 722 more than anyone else. Aaron’s 755 home runs are the second-most in history and were the all-time record for 33 years. His 3,771 hits are the third-most in history, behind only Pete Rose and Ty Cobb. His 2,174 runs are tied with Babe Ruth for fourth-most in history. He’s also in the top-five in career runs created and intentional walks, and the top-20 in slugging percentage and doubles. Given Aaron’s place at the top or near the top of so many categories, there’s a seemingly limitless combination of numbers that nobody else has achieved.  He’s the only player with 3,000 hits and 750 home runs. He’s the only player with 2,250 RBIs and 2,150 runs. He’s the only player with 1,400 extra-base hits and a .300 batting average. He’s the only player with 700 home runs, 600 doubles, and 90 triples. He’s the only player with 2,100 RBIs, 2,100 runs, and 240 stolen bases. We could spend the next hour listing different unique combinations that Aaron produced,  but the one that stands out the most is simply his career stat line. It is unrealistic to think we’ll ever see another player reach 750 home runs, 3,700 hits, 2,100 RBIs, 2,200 runs, and 6,800 total bases. Nobody else has ever come close and it’s likely nobody will. While his career totals are otherworldly, his resume is heavy on elite seasons as well. Aaron won the 1957 NL MVP, had eight top-5 MVP finishes and his 13 top-10 MVP finishes trail only Stan Musial for the most all-time. His 19 seasons receiving MVP votes are the most in history. He led the league in totals bases nine times, extra-base hits five times, home runs, RBIs, doubles, and slugging percentage four times, and his 13 consecutive seasons of at least 100 runs ties Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez for the most in history. Aaron holds the record with 20 20-home run seasons and shares the record with 15 30-home runs seasons (Alex Rodriguez). Aaron led the Braves to two World Series appearances and hit three home runs to go with a 1.200 OPS in the 1957 World Series, leading the Braves over the Yankees in a 7-game thriller.

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