Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth for most Major League Baseball home runs with 714
April 4, 1974 - Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

It doesn't take a devout baseball fan to be familiar with the deeds of George Herman Ruth.

No, Ruth's reputation procedes him, and has done for more than a century.

Larger than life, both physically and on the stats sheet, Ruth earned his reputation for being the game's saving grace, blasting baseball away from the 1919 Black Sox scandal and the small ball era by sending balls deep from his adopted home in the Bronx.

Across his 22-season stetch in the Majors for the Red Sox, Yankees and Braves, the hedonist from Pig Town recorded 2873 hits at a robust average of .342.

And of these 2873 knocks, 714 of them left the yard - a highwatermark for home runs that would last for almost forty years.

However, by the spring of 1974, 'The Babe' would have company at the top after a Milwaukee Braves veteran blasted himself to equal footing at the game's summit.

Hailing out of Mobile, Alabama, Henry Louis Aaron was far from Ruth's mirror image.

Compact and quietly confident by comparison, Aaron cut his teeth in the majors with the Braves in 1954. So loyal was the righty, he even made the move with the franchise from Milwaukee to Atlanta in the winter years of his career, eventually returning to Wisconsin for one final season with the Brewers.

Yet, on this Opening Day at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium, opposed to 'The Big Red Machine', Aaron strode to the plate with two on in the first to face Jack Billingham.

With 713 home runs of his own, Aaron had the vast majority of his six-foot, 180 pound frame out of Ruth's shadow, however, it would take his shot over the left-field wall to move from a step behind to parralel ground.

Aaron would move ahead of Ruth four nights later after taking Al Downing of the Dodgers deep in the Braves' home opener, shaking off fears for his life after receiving persistent racist death threats over the course of the off-season.

Aaron's hold on the game's most championed individual title would not be permanent though, with Pirates and Giants blaster Barry Bonds eventually blowing by 'Hammer' in 2007 when he clubbed his 756th homer off Washington's Mike Bacsik

However, with Bonds' name and reputation sullied due to persistent links with steroid abuse, some purists still see Aaron as the rightful belt holder among long-bombers.

Aaron would eventually hang up his spikes in 1976 before taking his 25 All-Star selections, pair of batting championships and wicked 143.1 bWAR all the way to Cooperstown in 1982.