Long road to Hank Aaron street | News


NORTH PORT — Almost always, the worst player goes to right field.

Kids consigned to baseball’s quiet corner learn to blow bubbles, spit on the green grass, or fist-pump the two other outfielders who are statistically more likely to be chasing flyballs.

In the big leagues, of course, exceptions occur, including such right-field greats as Babe Ruth and Al Kaline, among others.

But Henry Louis Aaron in many ways stands alone, especially on Tuesday in North Port, where a street at the West Villages Parkway crosswalk at CoolToday Park was renamed Hank Aaron Way after the legendary Atlanta Braves right-fielder.

CoolToday is where the Braves rehearse summer baseball during Grapefruit League play. The ballpark is designed to emit the dreamscape of professional sports. Aaron’s number — 44 — stands in giant red blocks near stadium gates.

Hank Aaron, a longtime executive VP with the Braves, arrived for the brief morning event in a golf cart. “Hammerin’ Hank” was with team execs and manager Brian Snitker. The great right-fielder required assistance in moving about, having turned 86 on Feb. 5.

But the honest thrill he radiated at having his own…

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