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Hammerin' Hank -- City soon to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Aaron’s time in Eau Claire
June 8, 2012
John (bird whisperer)
Tried posting this from my smartphone, and it never indicated completion of the post... I always ended up with a screen full of gibberish, so assumed it didn't go through. I tried 2 more times, ergo... ended up with a triple post and was unaware until I got back on my notebook. DOH! -
Anyway, June 14th will mark the 60th anniversary of (the then 18 year old shortstop) Hank Aaron's debut appearance with the Eau Claire Braves (farm team to the Milwaukee Braves) in 1952. He went on to win the rookie of the year award in the Northern League that year, and before long was playing for the Milwaukee Braves. Eau Claire fans knew right away he was someone special, and followed his career and success all along. There is a statue--dedicated in 1994--of Hank in Carson Park, near the entrance to the ball park. The Eau Claire Braves went the way of their predecessors, the Eau Claire Bears, but the Eau Claire Express of the College Summer League plays there today. Other players who played in Eau Claire--and went on to big things--include "Bill Bruton, Wes Covington, Andy Pafko, Joe Torre, and even Mr. Baseball-Bob Uecker."
Also: There's a discrepancy between the two sources as to the name of the team when Hank Aaron played here in 1952. The "VolumeOne" article refers to the "Eau Claire Bears" while the link to the Eau Claire Express site's "History of Carson Park" states that the Bears played until 1942, and the Eau Claire Braves played from 1946 to 1962. (I'm guessing the war intervened from 1942 - 1946.) I'm going to place my bet on the Carson Park site history, since that seems likely to have undergone a more rigorous fact-checking than a one-time article in a weekly periodical. -
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