On November 2, 1974, the Atlanta Braves trade Hank Aaron to the Brewers for Dave May and Roger Alexander. The move allows the all-time career home run champ to finish his career in Milwaukee, the city in which he started in the majors.
The new designated-hitter rule, enacted in 1973, made it possible, allowing Aaron, who along with Mathews and Warren Spahn led the Milwaukee Braves to a World Series championship in 1957, to hit the final 22 of his 755 home runs in a Brewers uniform.
Aaron played his final two seasons with the Brewers, posting a .686 OPS. He finished with 2,297 RBIs and 6,856 total bases, records that stand today.
The Brewers retired his No. 44 after the conclusion of the 1976 season, when Aaron’s playing career came to an end.
“He wasn’t the same Hank Aaron — we knew that,” said Bob Uecker, a teammate of Aaron’s with the Braves who was just beginning his broadcasting career when Aaron joined the Brewers. “But he was still a presence.”
Aaron hit his 755th and final home run on July 20, 1976, at County Stadium, a solo shot off California reliever Dick Drago. The baseball hooked just inside the left-field foul pole at County Stadium and landed in section 28 of the lower grandstand. Months passed before anyone realized it was the Home Run King’s final shot.
While I appreciate the nostalgia of this, I wish he would have finished in Atlanta.