During his early playing days, Hank Aaron was rarely considered a likely candidate to eclipse Babe Ruth’s regular season career re­ cord of 714 home runs. Speculative pieces during the 1950s and 1960s devoted to the topic of who, among active players, might eventually overtake Ruth tended to like the chances of sluggers such as Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Eddie Mathews, and Harmon Killebrew more than those of Aaron.