The world lost a baseball icon and giant on January 22nd when it was announced Hank Aaron had passed at 86-years-old. Aaron dominated baseball for nearly 25 years and the New York Mets were a big target.
During his career, he played 188 games against them once they became a ballclub in 1962.
Aaron had already made his name in the big leagues the prior eight seasons and was still in his prime. In fact, 1962 was one of his best seasons as a big leaguer when he clubbed the most home runs of his career at that point and many years after with 45. In 1971, he’d reach his max with 47.
He also drove in 128 RBI which is the third most of his career. Not to mention 127 runs, 191 hits, and a .323 batting average.
Hank Aaron knew how to take down the Mets of the 1960s
The hammer made his presence known to the lowly record-setting lovable losers when he smashed 9 home runs and 28 RBI in just 18 games. He batted .400, had 28 hits, 20 runs scored, and also walked 10 times. That’s nearly a .500 OBP.
His numbers would never come that close to terrorizing the Mets again, but overall, they were extremely solid. When you think of modern players that killed the Mets over the years, the familiar names are Barry Bonds, Pat Burrell, Jimmy Rollins, Chipper Jones, and Daniel Murphy. Well, throw Aaron in there too.
in 188 games against the Amazin’s, Hank Aaron put up a staggering stat line of 203 hits, 134 runs, 45 home runs, 126 RBI, 25 SBs, 107 walks, .295 batting average, and a .387 OBP.
Interestingly enough, most of Aaron’s damage was done against the Mets in his home ballpark. The numbers indicate that he was merely a baseball mortal at Shea Stadium in Queens.
In 81 games, he hit 16 home runs and drove in 44 RBI to the tune of a .266 batting average. His OBP was still an impressive .355 however.
The only thing that remains unclear from that is, his numbers against the Mets when they played in the Polo Grounds for two seasons. At Baseball-Reference, they show Polo Grounds only for the New York Giants. His numbers there were good, so the numbers when the Mets were playing home games there could be skewed a bit.
According to a Rising Apple article from last year, Hank Aaron was mostly stopped by Mets legend and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. In 93 at-bats against Tom Terrific, the Hammer batted just .220 with an OBP below .300.
He also only hit five home runs against the mighty Seaver.
Going through the record books of baseball, it’s almost certain that many teams share the same stories of Aaron battering them at the plate. Hank Aaron did have 755 home runs, 2297 RBI, and a .305 batting average. It wasn’t easy for anyone.
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Mr. Aaron, the home run king to many, will surely be missed. Rest in peace Hammerin’ Hank.