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This Day in Georgia History

April 08, 1974

Hank Aaron Broke Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record

In his second at-bat of the game, Atlanta Brave outfielder Hank Aaron hit his 715th lifetime home run, eclipsing the long-standing record of Babe Ruth. Los Angeles pitcher Al Dowling surrendered the home run in the fourth inning of a game won 7-4 by the Braves. Addressing the cheering crowd afterwards Aaron simply said “I just thank God it’s all over.” Babe Ruth’s widow, contacted at her New York apartment, was gracious, noting “Good for him. I’m not shocked, it doesn’t bother me; I’ve been expecting it of course.” In a bit of trivia not generally known, Mrs. Ruth was born and lived her first fifteen years in Athens, Georgia.

To view an image of Hank Aaron hitting home run number 715, see the Digital Library of Georgia.