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Happy 83rd, Hammer

Adults in their late 50s and 60s may have a hard time imagining Hank Aaron as an 83-year-old man. But as of Feb. 3, the Hammer ripened one more year. As a salute to the non-drug-enhanced Home Run King, the Baseball Hall of Fame has organized an exhibit “A Salute to the Life and Times of Henry Aaron.” It is being held in the Delta Flight Museum along with a fundraiser for the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation. Many of the items displayed are those Aaron donated to the Hall of Fame during his career, including the bat and ball from his 715th home run in 1974, which are on loan to the Atlanta Braves.

Among the artifacts and documents scheduled to be on exhibit at the Feb. 3 event are:

• Aaron’s 1952 contract, calling for a salary of $200 per month with the Class C Eau Claire Braves;

• His 1953 Sally League championship ring with the Class A Jacksonville Braves;

• His 1957 World Series ring with the Milwaukee Braves;

• A silver bat awarded to Aaron for winning the 1959 National League batting title;

• The bat and ball from his 500th home run in 1968;

• The bat used for his 3,000th career hit in 1970; and

• The baseball from May 1, 1975, when Aaron became the all-time leader in RBI.

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