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Rant #340
(published July 26, 2007)
by Jason Polan

I think he will be looking at a menu when it is hit. Hank Aaron will be on the street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania trying to decide what he wants for dinner when Barry Bonds hits his most famous home run. The ball will be hit in Atlanta at Turner Field. The coincidence that Mr. Aaron will be standing 714 miles away from Barry Bonds will not be realized until Bonds retires and his biographer is finishing up research on the book. This fact will make him laugh out loud. Hank will be thinking about how he likes his steak cooked.

He will not be at the game that places him at number 2 between Bonds and Ruth. He will be in Pittsburgh by himself looking at the menu. Hank Aaron's wife Billye is the one who had the idea to keep him away from this event in his life. She decided that she didn't like the idea of him going to the game when she heard him take the call from the commissioner asking if he would like to attend the series with the Braves.

"It will be as much a celebration of you as it will be for Barry. The fans would love to see you there, Hank."

He didn't care very much either way when he got that call and told Selig that he would give it some thought. His wife was firm in her position. She didn't like thinking about her husband sitting just a few rows back on the first base side at that game. She would be there with him and so would some other legendary baseball player, let's say it will be Willie Mays. Mays will be pointing something out to Aaron when the camera decides to focus on him. The people at the game will see Aaron with his gray hair and his glasses. They will see these two faces that they know and will not know what to think or do. They will not cheer because that will not feel right. The viewers at home will not know what to do either. This is the part that really bothers Billye Aaron. She will think of the people at home who get up to get a drink of water or put the clean clothes in the dryer because they feel uncomfortable seeing her husband on the television that evening. That is why she suggests that they take a trip to her sister's house in Pittsburgh when the three game series against the Braves is scheduled, when Bonds will likely tie and break the record against the team Hank played for when he did the same to Ruth. But his was different.

Hank usually liked having a game on and will decide to go for a walk when he notices the family is intentionally keeping the television off. He will walk up and down the gray streets until the lights come on. He will see part of the game when he walks in front of a bar. He will watch the second baseman Ray Durham single into right field. He will know who the next batter is and stay because he is curious. Nobody will notice that Hank Aaron is watching this at bat from the sidewalk. Bonds will strike out swinging and Hank will decide right then that he doesn't want to watch anymore. The at bat will make him think about the months leading up to his number 715. That time after the end of the '73 season and the opening of '74. He remembers being scared. He remembers that more than the homerun. The relief after it was over is something else he thinks about and makes a note to call Bonds the next day to congratulate him if tonight is the night it happens. He knows it will be.

He will see the restaurant on the north side of the street. He will look inside and see that there are several people eating but it will look fairly quiet. He will check the menu to the right of the door before going in to make sure the food looks ok. He will see the steaks listed and will think about the medium-well filet he wants to order when Barry Bonds swings and hits his homerun. Hank will think about how he really just needed to get some food in his stomach as he walks back to the house. His wife will give him a hug when he walks in the door. She will kiss him on the cheek and ask him if he wants a piece of the lemon merengue pie they had earlier for desert. She will sit with him as he enjoys the pie.

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The Next Rant piece (from Issue #341):

The Defense of Poesy
by Sir Philip Sidney

The Last few Rant pieces (from Issues #339 thru #335):

Just the Facts
by R.J. Bullock

The Despised Pastoral
by H.P. Lovecraft

Things on a Bridge
by Jason Polan

by Zachary Biehler

Abject Conjecture
by Adam Moorad

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