Branch Rickey’s scouting report of Hank Aaron

Here’s an interesting find from the Library of Congress. Dated May 2, 1963, Branch Rickey wrote up a scouting report of Hammerin’ Hank Aaron.

Branch Rickey scouting report on Hank Aaron

Cincinnati, Ohio
May 2, 1963
Cincinnati vs Milwaukee

 

AARON, HANK

Surely one of the greatest hitters in baseball today. Can hit late with power, – good wrists. But in spite of his hitting record and admitted power ability, one cannot help think that Aaron is frequently a guess hitter. Will take three strikes down the middle and in fact frequently acts frozen on pitches. For years I have believed and I still believe that Aaron has more trouble with the breaking stuff. He stands close enough to the plate to pull the outside ball and does pull it. However, he is a foot length further from the plate than Frank Robinson of Cincinnati.

BRANCH RICKEY

[Transcribed and reviewed by volunteers participating in the By The People project at crowd.loc.gov.]

It’s an interesting review of Aaron’s hitting, pretty much right in the middle of his MLB career.  Looking at the box score, Aaron went 2-for-4 with a homer and 2 RBIs in this game, but also struck out twice.

While I am too young to have ever watched Aaron’s hitting, what limited knowledge I have makes me think Rickey might not have been alone in his perception of him as a “guess hitter.”  At the same time, I would also wager that Aaron might have read pitches better than he sometimes let on.

If you’re interested, you can find the digital document on the Library of Congress website here.


3 Comments on “Branch Rickey’s scouting report of Hank Aaron”

  1. verdun2 says:

    What a terrific find. Thanks for posting this.
    v

  2. wkkortas says:

    Aaron was obviously a terrific guesser.


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