Young sports writer and photographer Randy Cox got the assignment of a lifetime when he was sent to cover the Braves’ 1974 home opener with Henry Aaron sitting on 714 career home runs. And when Aaron connected on #715 on his first swing of the game, Randy had a front-row seat to one of the greatest moments in the history of American sport.
Yes, Randy got a shot of “the swing,” and he also got dozens of other great photos that night—close-ups of Aaron before the game and after the homer, on-field action shots, profiles of celebrities. Through pictures, memories, and research, Randy tells the story of the night as it has never been told before—as it unfolded practically in his lap—from the elaborate pregame ceremony, to the play-by-play action, to the exultant postgame press conference.
715 at 50 is a unique celebration of that momentous night 50 years ago, but it is also much more. The book includes chapters on home run 714, the bigwigs who packed the sidelines, and exclusive 2023 interviews with Braves’ PR guru, Bob Hope, who orchestrated the night, and Ron Reed and Buzz Capra, who won and saved the game for the Braves.
Numerous sidebars on topics like the Bowie Kuhn controversies, fan support and hostility, and teammates including Dusty Baker, Davey Johnson, and Eddie Mathews, supplement the narrative. And Aaron’s incredible on- and off-field achievements are chronicled, honoring the strength and dignity that elevate The Hammer to the status as one of the most iconic figures in the history of American sport.
Henry Aaron’s chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record gripped the baseball world for two years. It’s impossible for fans who did not experience it to understand the impact his pursuit and triumph had both on baseball and America as a whole. 715 at 50 is the next best thing, taking readers back to that time and recreating that miraculous night moment by moment, image by image.
Introduction: For the Love of Baseball
Chapter 1: 714
Chapter 2: Opening Night Arrives
Chapter 3: Henry Aaron's Long, Amazing Road to 715
Chapter 4: All-Star Lineup of Dignitaries
Chapter 5: Interview with Bob Hope, Former Braves "Master of Public Relations"
Chapter 6: Henry Aaron and Me
Chapter 7: Play Ball! - The Game's Supporting Cast
Chapter 8: Exclusive Interviews: Ron Reed and Buzz Capra
Chapter 9: 715
Chapter 10: Celebration Extraordinaire
Chapter 11: True Greatness
Chapter 12: A Hall of Fame Life