At The American Conservative, Casey Chalk examines the Main Street conservatism of baseball legend Hank Aaron. Chalk notes Aaron’s post-baseball success as well, explaining that it relied on “his work ethic, his deep sense of patriotism, and his religious beliefs.” Chalk writes (abridged):
Reading selected quotations from Aaron (baseball legend Hank), I was struck by how well he understood many of the truths of Main Street conservatism (even if he has a history of strongly criticizing the GOP!).
Aaron appreciated the value of tradition in both American history and baseball.
In reference to Ruth (Babe), he once declared: “I don’t want them to forget Ruth; I just want them to remember me.” This is a remarkable statement of humility coming from a man who in 1973 received a plaque from the U.S. Postal Service for receiving more mail (930,000 pieces) than any other person excluding politicians. Much of it was hate-filled, castigating a black man for attempting to break a white man’s record.
Aaron also understands the central role of virtue in a life well-lived.
One of his most famous quotations is “Consistency is what counts; you have to be able to do things over and over again.” He certainly exemplified that consistency with his 24-time all-star appearances, 15 seasons with at least 30 home runs, and an incredible lifetime .305 batting average. As Aaron explained: “I came to the Braves on business, and I intended to see that business was good as long as I could.”
After his baseball career, Aaron had other great successes, both as a businessman—owning many car dealerships and a chain of restaurants—and as a philanthropist. This stemmed from his work ethic, his deep sense of patriotism, and his religious beliefs.
Read more here.