Hard to believe but one of the most underrated players in baseball history is Hank Aaron. For whatever reason, Hank never seems to get his due. Sure he's mentioned among the greats but people don't treat him with the reverence that they do Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio or Babe Ruth. He seems to just get tossed into the conversation.
The guy is the all-time home run and RBI leader and is third in hits. Yet it seems to me that Hank doesn't get his due. Why?
Maybe because he wasn't and isn't a self-promoter. Perhaps because he didn't have a stylized home run trot or popped off in the media. He wasn't "controversial." He just went about his job.
I bring Aaron up because I just saw a clip of him being interviewed by Bob Costas on MLB Network. If you didn't know who Aaron was, and unfortunately people like that exist, you would surmise he was in his early to mid 50's. Wrong. Hank Aaron is...76! Holy moly. A couple of things come to mind. How does he look so young? And, I'm getting old myself. I can still see him in my mind. His swing, the way he ran, the way he threw the ball. Now he's 76 but looks like he can still play.
By the way, if you were paying attention earlier in this post, you read that I called Hank the all-time home run leader. Some might say Barry Bonds. No. I don't consider Bonds in the same class as Aaron as a home run hitter and as a human. Bonds was a steroid cheat and is a bum. Aaron is the true home run champ. Period.