I was born in Atlanta in 1960, and when the Braves moved to town from Milwaukee after the 1965 season, Hank Aaron became my all-seasons hero.
That didn’t seem unusual in my family, because my New Jersey-bred mother and Pennsylvania-raised father considered themselves civil rights foot soldiers. But it was anathema to my white classmates. I’ll never forget a day in spring 1966 when we picked the Braves players we wanted to be for a game of sandlot ball, and I picked Aaron. The other boys chose white players like Joe Torre, Denis Menke and Phil Niekro.