From breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record to becoming an esteemed humanitarian, Hank Aaron is a legendary name that has earned its place in the Hall of Fame. His words are full of wisdom and insight, offering valuable insights into life both on and off the baseball field.
In honor of one of America’s greatest athletes, we’ve compiled some quotes from the great Hank Aaron for all enthusiastic fans of “America’s pastime.” Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just want to remember what it takes to be remembered long after retirement as one of history’s greatest players, these quotes from a world renowned pitcher-turned-slugger will do the trick!
Hank Aaron is considered one of baseball’s all-time greats, and for good reason. Not only did he achieve historic milestones both on and off the field in his career as one of baseball’s all-time greatest home run hitters, but he also had a knack for delivering memorable quotes that blended wit, humor, and insightfulness – often with surprising wisdom. Today we’ll take a look at some of Hank Aaron’s best funny quotes that show just how wise this man was – not only about baseball – but about life too!
“Can I smoke now without someone taking my picture?”
“Does Pete (Rose) hustle? Before the All-Star game he came into the clubhouse and took off his shoes and they ran another mile without him.”
“I thought my chances to make the Braves were better and that they were being fairer to me, paying me more money to play in a lower classification … Besides, the Giants spelled my name “Arron” on their telegram.”
“Roger Maris lost his hair the season he hit sixty-one, I still have all my hair, but when it’s over, I’m going home to Mobile and fish for a long time.”
One of the most recognizable figures in baseball history is Hank Aaron, who set records and inspired generations of young baseball players. His achievements on the field include breaking Babe Ruth’s career home run record, winning the National League MVP award, and becoming one of only four players to amass 3,000 base hits.
But beyond his impressive statistical accomplishments on paper was a man with an admirable outlook on life that transcended the realm of sports. Through these Hank Aaron baseball quotes, get an inside look at how this legendary figure saw himself and the game that meant so much to him.
“Baseball is a lot like the ivy-covered wall of Wrigley Field–it gives off a great appearance, but when you run into it, you discover the bricks underneath. At times, it seems that we’re dealing with a group of men who aren’t much different than others we’ve all run into over the years, except they wear neckties instead of robes and hoods.”
“Baseball needs me because it needs somebody to stir the pot, and I need it because it’s my life. It’s the means I have to make a little difference in the world.”
“Guessing what the pitcher is going to throw is 80% of being a successful hitter. The other 20% is just execution.”
“I came to the Braves on business, and I intended to see that business was good as long as I could.”
“I don’t see pitches down the middle anymore – not even in batting practice.”
“I like those lefties, but when you’re hitting, all pitchers look alike. I don’t care too much who’s throwing or what he throws. When my timing is off, I have trouble; when it ain’t, I don’t.”
“I looked for the same pitch my whole career, a breaking ball. All of the time. I never worried about the fastball. They couldn’t throw it past me, none of them.”
“I never thought home runs were all that exciting. I still think the triple is the most exciting thing in baseball. To me, a triple is like a guy taking the ball on his 1-yard line and running 99 yards for a touchdown.”
“I played sometimes about as dull as you can play it. I did things the right way; you know. I think I modeled my playing ability after one of the all-time greats, Joe DiMaggio. You always found Joe, when he played, you know, he always threw to the right base. He ran, he caught the ball. He did all the right things. He was an idol of mine in the outfield. He played the game the way it was supposed to be played.”
“I realize that if I hadn’t been able to hit the hell out of a baseball, I would have never been able to lay a finger on the good life that I’ve been fortunate to have. Playing baseball has given me all that a man could ask for–certainly a lot more than a timid little black kid like me ever dared to dream about.”
“I think about how a guy mentally prepared himself to do battle, to go out and face the pitcher. I think so many hitters do not know how to get themselves prepared to play or hit against a pitcher. You have to mentally be prepared to hit against all pitchers.”
“I’ve tried a lot of things in the off-season, but the only thing I really know is baseball.”
“If I knew exactly what I know now and had it to do over, I’d be a switch hitter. No telling what I could have done.”
“In baseball, there is something electrifying about the big leagues. I had read so much about (Stan) Musial, (Ted) Williams and (Jackie) Robinson. I had put those guys on a pedestal. They were something special. I really thought they put their pants on different, rather than one leg at a time.”
“Looking at the ball going over the fence isn’t going to help.”
“Maybe the day will come when I can sit back and be content….But until that day comes, I intend to stay in the batter’s box – I don’t let the big guys push me out of there anymore – and keep hammering away.”
“Once the record was mine, I had to use it like a Louisville Slugger. I believed, and still do, that there was a reason why I was chosen to break the record. I feel it’s my task to carry on where Jackie Robinson left off, and I only know of one way to go about it. It’s the only way I’ve ever had of dealing with things like fastballs and bigotry — keep swinging at them.”
“The first thing baseball wants to do is make you a superstar and then say that you owe baseball something. I don’t owe baseball anything. Baseball owes me.”
“The mental aspects of hitting were especially important to me. I was strictly a guess hitter, which meant I had to have a thorough knowledge of every pitcher I came up against and develop a strategy for hitting him. My method was to identify the pitches a certain pitcher had and eliminate all but one or two and then wait for them. One advantage I had was quick wrists. Another advantage—and one that all good hitters have—was my eyesight. Sometimes I could read the pitcher’s grip on the ball before he ever released it and be able to tell what pitch he was throwing.”
“The most important thing in my career out of the 23 years I played is I never struck out 100 times. Getting the base hits was the greatest thrill of my life.”
“The pitcher has got only a ball. I’ve got a bat. So the percentage in weapons is in my favor and I let the fellow with the ball do the fretting.”
“The thing I like about baseball is that it’s one-on-one. You stand up there alone, and if you make a mistake, it’s your mistake. If you hit a home run, it’s your home run.”
“The triple is the most exciting play in baseball. Home runs win a lot of games, but I never understood why fans are so obsessed with them.”
“The way I see it, it’s a great thing to be the man who hit the most home runs, but it’s a greater thing to be the man who did the most with the home runs he hit. So as long as there’s a chance that maybe I can hammer out a little justice now and then, or a little opportunity here and there, I intend to do as I always have — keep swinging.”
“There is no logical reason why girls shouldn’t play baseball. It’s not all that tough.”
“There wasn’t any pitcher I felt I couldn’t get a hit off.”
“Whatever we do, make sure we clean up baseball.”
“You can only milk a cow so long, then you’re left holding the pail.”
“You got to play a hundred and fifty games a year, so pick your spots. You can miss two games a month; so pick the days you’re gonna be hurt, or you’re gonna rest or you’re gonna have a drink or two. The rest of the time, be on that field.”
“You visualize [pitches]. You see it in your head; you think it…I used to play every pitcher in my mind before I went to the ballpark. I started getting ready for ever game the moment I woke up.”
Hank Aaron had a career full of incredible accomplishments and accolades. But beyond his impressive stats and lifetime achievements in baseball were his powerful words that went far beyond just motivating fellow athletes — Aaron’s inspirational quotes have been used as motivators for people from all walks of life. At this point, we will take a look at some of Hank Aaron’s best quotes which continue to speak volumes guaranteed to leave even the most discerning reader feeling inspired!
“[My father] didn’t make much money, and I tell a lot of people, you know, I was a vegetarian before people knew what a vegetarian was. That’s all I ate was vegetables.”
“Consistency is what counts; you have to be able to do things over and over again.”
“I am very proud to be an American. This country has so much potential, I’d just like to see things better, or whatever, and I think it will be.”
“I don’t feel right unless I have a sport to play or at least a way to work up a sweat.”
“I had just turned 20, and Jackie told me the only way to be successful at anything was to go out and do it. He said baseball was a game you played every day, not once a week.”
“I have always felt that although someone may defeat me, and I strike out in a ball game, the pitcher on the particular day was the best player. But I know when I see him again, I’m going to be ready for his curve ball. Failure is a part of success. There is no such thing as a bed of roses all your life. But failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it.”
“I need to depend on Someone who is bigger, stronger and wiser than I am. I don’t do it on my own. God is my strength. He gave me a good body and some talent and the freedom to develop it. He helps me when things go wrong. He forgives me when I fall on my face. He lights the way.”
“I never doubted my ability, but when you hear all your life you’re inferior, it makes you wonder if the other guys have something you’ve never seen before. If they do, I’m still looking for it.”
“I think what separates a superstar from the average ballplayer is that he concentrates just a little bit longer.”
“I would like people not to think in terms of the 755 home runs I hit but think in terms of what I’ve accomplished off the field and some of the things I stood for.”
“Last year, I was sort of a kid and I was a little scared, I ain’t scared any more.”
“What you do with your life and how you do it is not only a reflection on you, but on your family and all of those institutions that have helped to make you who you are.”
Hank Aaron was more than just an iconic baseball player. His influence extends far beyond the diamond and touches upon difficult topics such as racism in America, a subject that has long been regarded as one of the country’s most pressing issues. Despite facing considerable hatred while breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974, Hank Aaron continued to strive on and off the field with grace and dignity that continues to inspire people today. Explore some of his historical quotes on being a black baseball player and how it relates to turning adversity into success.
“Babe Ruth never had to contend with anything like that when he was establishing his record.”
“I had many, many, many death threats. I couldn’t open letters for a long time, because they all had to be opened by either the FBI or somebody. I couldn’t open letters. I had to be escorted. In fact, just recently I went to a funeral, Calvin Wardlaw, who was the detective — the policeman — with me for two years, passed away just recently. He and I got to be bosom buddies really, but that was the hardest part. I wasn’t able to enjoy — you know.”
“I’m hoping someday that some kid, black or white, will hit more home runs than myself. Whoever it is, I’d be pulling for him.”
“I was being thrown to the wolves. Even though I did something great, nobody wanted to be a part of it. I was so isolated. I couldn’t share it. For many years, even after Jackie Robinson, baseball was so segregated, really. You just didn’t expect us to have a chance to do anything. Baseball was meant for the lily-white.”
“It really made me see for the first time a clear picture of what this country is about. My kids had to live like they were in prison because of kidnap threats, and I had to live like a pig in a slaughter camp. I had to duck. I had to go out the back door of the ball parks. I had to have a police escort with me all the time. I was getting threatening letters every single day. All of these things have put a bad taste in my mouth, and it won’t go away. They carved a piece of my heart away.”
“On the field, blacks have been able to be super giants. But, once our playing days are over, this is the end of it and we go back to the back of the bus again.”
“People were not ready to accept me as a baseball player. The easiest part of that whole thing, chasing the Babe’s record, was playing the game itself. The hardest thing was after the game was over, dealing with the press. They could never understand.”
“Some people resented the fact I was trying to break a white man’s record.”
“The only thing I can say is that I had a rough time with it. I don’t talk about it much. It still hurts a little bit inside, because I think it has chipped away at a part of my life that I will never have again. I didn’t enjoy myself. It was hard for me to enjoy something that I think I worked very hard for. God had given me the ability to play baseball, and people in this country kind of chipped away at me. So, it was tough. And all of those things happened simply because I was a black person.”
“There wasn’t much white people would allow us to do in those days. You could be a schoolteacher or an athlete to get away from the manual labor and servant-type jobs, but there wasn’t much else they were going to allow you [to] do.”
“There’s only one way to break the color line. Be good. I mean, play good. Play so good that they can’t remember what color you were before the season started.”
Most Famous Quotes
Hank Aaron, one of the greatest Major League Baseball players ever to take the field, left behind a powerful legacy that impacts baseball fans all around the world. As his career spanned more than 25 years and he spent most of it breaking records as an Atlanta Brave and Milwaukee Brewer, many people attribute their love for baseball to him. His words have been especially impactful amongst younger audiences who have become further entrenched in MLB fandom through his positive message.
To honor his memory, let’s reminisce on some of Hank Aaron’s most famous quotes that have both spread awareness about what is right in the game and inspired future generations; each quote showcases why Hank was such a beloved figure in baseball history.
“Didn’t come up here to read. Came up here to hit.”
“Failure is a part of success. There is no such thing as a bed of roses all your life. But failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it.”
“I can’t recall a day this year or last when I did not hear the name of Babe Ruth.”
“I’m not trying to make anyone forget the Babe; but only to remember Hank Aaron.”
“In playing ball, and in life, a person occasionally gets the opportunity to do something great. When that time comes, only two things matter: being prepared to seize the moment and having the courage to take your best swing.”
“I never smile when I have a bat in my hands. That’s when you’ve got to be serious. When I get out on the field, nothing’s a joke to me. I don’t feel like I should walk around with a smile on my face.”
“It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.”
“I tell young people – including my granddaughter – there is no shortcut in life. You have to take it one step at a time and work hard. And you have to give back.”
“Making the majors is not as hard as staying there, staying interested day after day. It’s like being married. The hardest part is to stay married.”
“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.”
“You may not think you’re going to make it. You may want to quit. But if you keep your eye on the ball, you can accomplish anything.”
What Resonated The Most?
I hope you enjoyed reading these Hank Aaron quotes as much as I did. It’s amazing to think about all that he accomplished both on and off the field during his career. His dedication to the game and perseverance in the face of adversity serve as a reminder to always strive for greatness. Aaron’s impact on the sport of baseball will always be remembered and his quotes will continue to inspire future generations of players.
While there are too many great quotes to list them all here, these are just a few of our favorites that capture Hank Aaron’s wisdom, insight, and passion for baseball. What quote resonated with you? Share this blog post and let us know!
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