Probably because, unlike Bonds, Aaron's production was very steady all thru his career. Its true he had his best HR season in 1971 (47) at age 37 but he consistently had 40 HR seasons throughout his long career. (8 of them) there was no dramatic upturn in his stats as he got older. He was one of the steadiest players ever to play the game.
Physiologically speaking, amphetamines(ie speed) don't actually improve your motor skills needed to hit a ball and they don't build muscle mass. It's been proven. They do help psychologically and make someone more alert, but the issue is anabolic steroids and other types of performance enhancers that change your body composition by altering testosterone levels with synthetic precursers. These abnormal levels change physical features such as head size, muscle mass, "man-stuff" etc. Look at Bonds's rookie year picture and a picture of him 2 years ago. I'm about 99% sure you won't see these physical changes in pictures of Aaron. You can naturally put on weight with hard work, but there are limits. My guess is any change you see in Aaron would be normal weight gain.
_____________________________________________________ 2010 AL Central Champions!
I believe it's also "crazy" and very naive to think that players of the 60's and 70's did not use illigal substances. Both decades were rife with drug use. Not saying Aaron necessarily did any but it's foolish to believe he absolutely did not. Gotta keep an open mind with these things.
As someone who was an Aaron fan when he was playing in Milwaukee as a young player...all this discussion is flat out absurd. Aaron was one of the most fluid, soft spoken athletes you will ever find. His typical home run was a flick of the bat with one of the most beautiful swings you will ever see. It usually was a line drive that seldom got over 15-20' in the air. Throughout is career, Aaron was a rather small person who played the game with what appeared to be minimal effort.
If you are going to talk about Aaron and "speed," I suggest you take a look at his baserunning abilities which if I recall included several years with over 20 stolen bases.
Seems to me that once the mound was lowered, the talent (especially pitching) was diluted by expansion, and other things that may or may not have happened as MLB tweeked with the variables to try to make the game more high scoring... well, that had more to do with it than anything.
I personaly think that had Aaron played in something other than a band box for his entire career, he'd be 25th on the all time list... not first. He hit a lot of balls that just got out, but that was his good fortune, not anything else.
With the bombs that Willie Stargell hit, if he'd have had his career home park switched with Hammerin' Hank, we'd still be watching Bonds chasing the leader. But, that is one of the things that makes baseball different than other sports, variables like no 2 parks being alike.
While Aaron hit more HRs at home than he did on the road (keeping in mind that the available play-by-play data only goes back to 1957), his splits are pretty close. If he had been playing at three rivers, he may have not broke Ruth's record.
On the other hand, Stargell was hampered by playing in PGH, but even given that, there is no way he would have broken Ruth's record.
I guess similar arguments could be made for a host of former sluggers....what if Willy McCovey didn't play at Candlestick...or Mays for that matter. Did Killebrew's total suffer because of where he played? Mike Schmidt? Mel Ott--who played in cavernous Polo Grounds...or others? Stargell was quite a slugger, but hardly a record breaking slugger.
Aaron really sort of 'snuck up' on the record...he never hit more than 47 in one season, but he was very consistent for quite a long time. He actually was not even considered the slugger than teammate Eddie Matthews was...yet at the end of the day, there was Hank, knocking at Ruth's door.
The 'drug' of choice for many years in baseball was alcohol. Did it help players perform better? It might be argued that it really helped the Babe....if he showed up every day, half in the bag, he probably knew it would be better to hit the ball out than to have to run the bases. Quite an incentive to go yard!!!
karl1958 wrote: Hank Aaron HR stats improved after the age of 35(thorugh 40), no one is questioning whether he used speed, why?
You are comparing different eras. Back then the Major League Baseball tried different things to increase or decrease Offense. In 1968 they lowered the mound. Check out the stats and how offense was dramatically reduced in offense. Then Expansion occurred with Montreal Expos and san Diego getting franchise which brought more pitchers into the league. Hank Aaron's stats didn't dramatically increase as much as any other player.
Too bad the majority of players are now going to be grouped into an asterisk category due to all of this.
I would imagine most like Pettite dabbled in stroids to get over an injuru ASAP.
Guys, remember the season Javy Lopez had where he hit 43 Homers and slugged over .650? I believe it was with the Orioles. Well, he just signed with the Braves to be the backup cathcer for McCann and His production has gone begging...
Speculation on yet another player...the list goes on and on and on and on...ugh
i could sit here all day and name people that were'nt ever on Mitchel's report.
What I find interesting is that nobody has admitted to anything much past 2003-2004, making them all clean as choirboys since that time.
Everyone who does make any kind of admission, claims it was just once, they were wrong, and they were sorry... only it comes out after names are named. There wasn't a peep before the list came out.
The only guy who was a man about it was Giambi, and he just about got run out of baseball it seems. This is what we see happens in baseball when honesty raises it's head... MLB, both the commish's office and the player's union, seek to punish any thing that honesty brings to the table.
Everyone else's "...oh, I did it back in 2003, once, and it was wrong and I am sorry..." sounds like a pretty hollow, company fed, damage controled line of crap.
I only hope congress doesn't find out that the NFL players might be abusing stuff...
1. The reason nobody has mentioned anything relatively current is that they know under the CBA that would give Selig grounds to punish them
2. Steriods have been around for a long time. If you do somw digging into steriods during the 60's you can even start seeing some mild alligations of Ruth using horse steriods, becasue of his wieght gain and water weight issues... Not saying that Ruth used steriods, but the fact is the steriods have been a part of the game alot longer than anyone is willing to admit....
Ill try to dig up the ruth steriod article for you guys, i though it was rather interesting because of the time period