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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Hammerin' Hank in a league of his own
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

May 17, 1970

With an infield single, Hank Aaron becomes the ninth player to reach 3,000 hits, but the first to reach that milestone and hit 500 hitters. Only one other player has gotten 3,000 hits and 200 homers, and that's Stan Musial (475 homers, 3,630 hits), who along with Atlanta Braves president Bill Bartholomay presents the record ball to Aaron.

After going hitless in the first game of a doubleheader in Cincinnati, Aaron gets No. 3,000 off Wayne Simpson when his grounder over second base is knocked down by Reds second baseman Woody Woodward near the outfield grass. The crowd of 33,217, the largest in Crosley Field in 23 years, gives Aaron a huge ovation.

In his next at-bat, also against Simpson, the 36-year-old slugger blasts his 570th homer. The 17-year veteran singles again, raising his hit total to 3,002, but the Braves are swept in the doubleheader.

"I'm relieved to get No. 3,000 and I'm glad it's all over," says Aaron, who is somewhat subdued. "It's been a long day."

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