Monday, April 7, 2008

Sometimes I Gotta Wonder

I was reading a Sports Illustrated magazine (that's a few weeks old) I came across this article on steroid use-not only in sports- and in it was a reference to the made for television movie, A Body to Die For. I looked up the author's name and discovered it was Katie White. Then I tried to find out something about the author because I was intrigued by the name of the character played by Ben Affleck, Aaron Henry.

Nowhere does she mention anything about the choice of name for the main character in A Body to Die For as her way of paying tribute to one of baseball's greatest ballplayers ever. I told the architect of this blog that if he were to have a baby he should name him Henry Louis (if the child was to be a girl she could just as well be Henrietta Louise) because it might be just the thing to get the little guy/gal going if s/he was to fall in love with baseball. Two other noteworthy gentleman had the names Henry Louis (Gehrig) and (Aaron) and you would be hard-pressed to find two better all-around ballplayers than those two.

Henry Louis Aaron, "the Hammer," posted some extra special numbers while wearing the numbers 5 and 44. When he first came up in the Milwaukee Brave organization he was a second baseman and was issued the number 5, later changing it to the familiar #44.

He is the all-time leader in runs batted in with 2,297. Babe Ruth is second with 2,217.
Not only is Aaron second on the all-time home run leader board (755) he is also second in all-time at-bats(12,364). Babe Ruth had 8,398 at-bats which was 3,966 fewer than Aaron. He is third on the all-time leader board in hits (3771). In runs scored he is tied for 4th with Babe Ruth (2,174).

I list George Herman "Babe" Ruth's numbers because many consider him the greatest ballplayer ever. He lost some at-bats because he began his career as a pitcher and after he was converted into an outfielder he was issued an astounding number of walks. In fact, not until Barry Bonds reached immortality in the orange and black had any batter ever been walked so often as the Bambino.

Perhaps it is a mere coincidence that a character would bear the same name as one of the greatest all-time players in America's game. That when she finished typing the story and presented the finished work to whatever book company, for their approval, NO ONE did a double-take on the name of the character. Perhaps someone did and it raised a few eyebrows but not enough so that the author made mention of it.

Then again, it may be my own appreciation of Henry Louis Aaron's ability between the white lines and for my being weaned on baseball that I noticed it and responded the way I did. In other words, maybe it's me.

I did the exact same thing when I saw the word alkaline on my father's double-a (aa) batteries. I thought Eveready was paying homage to the great Detroit Tiger outfielder of the same name, Al Kaline.

Kevin Marquez