Aaron makes final visit to site of No. 715
Schilling should remain on ballot, writers say
ATLANTA — The Hammer made one last trip to the spot where he hit No. 715.
After a nearly three-hour funeral service Wednesday that featured two former presidents, a longtime baseball commissioner and a civil rights icon, the hearse carrying Hank Aaron’s body detoured off the road bearing his name to swing through the former site of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
That’s where Aaron broke an iconic record on April 8, 1974, eclipsing the home run mark established by Babe Ruth.
The stadium was imploded in 1997 after the Braves moved across the street to Turner Field, replaced by a parking lot for the new ballpark. But the outer retaining wall of the old stadium remains, along with a modest display in the midst of the nondescript lot that marks the exact location where the record-breaking homer cleared the left-field fence.
HALL OF FAME: Baseball Writers’ Association of America members delivered an empty class in this year’s election, which was announced Tuesday night. Curt Schilling received the most support, but the former pitcher was selected on 71.1% of the ballots, falling 16 votes short of the 75% needed for induction.
Schilling wrote on Facebook that he has asked the Hall of Fame to remove his name from next year’s ballot. Hall of Fame Board Chairman Jane Forbes Clark said the board “will consider the request at our next meeting.”
The BBWAA responded Wednesday and said “Schilling’s request to remove himself from the ballot is a violation of the rules set forth by the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors” are urged the board to reject the request.
TRADE: The New York Mets traded left-hander Steven Matz to the Toronto Blue Jays for three young pitchers Wednesday night.
New York received reliever Sean ReidFoley and minor league right-handers Josh Winckowski and Yennsy Díaz.
YANKEES: Retooling New York finalized a $90 million, six-year contract to retain AL batting champion DJ LeMahieu on Wednesday and completed an $11 million deal to add right-hander Corey Kluber.
The Yankees also reached a $2.5 million, one-year deal with submarining right-handed relief pitcher Darren O’Day.
PADRES: Jurickson Profar, who played five positions for San Diego last season, signed a $21 million, three-year contract to remain with the team.