Baseball's most revered idol Babe Ruth, set a career home run record that stood for nearly forty years. Great fanfare, hordes of reporters and horrible death threats surrounded Hank Aaron as he closed in on Ruth's treasured mark in 1974. One of the great marketing items to emerge from Aaron's chase, was a 1974 Magnavox commemorative bat with an engraved brass plate celebrating Hank's record breaking 715th homer. The electronics giant gave away these bats as a premium inducement to customers that purchased a Magnavox TV.
Survivors from this promotional program bear serial numbers that extend well into the five-digit range and finding one of these bats for sale is a quick discovery. Not so with the handsome (NM+) example offered here, which is fitted with a brass plate that bears engraving stacked top to bottom as follows: "715 (Date)", followed by a facsimile Aaron autograph and then "Braves vs. (Team)" and finally "Serial No. 00,000". The lack of a date and opposing team designations indicate this relatively scarce type is either a prototype or possibly an advance store display model. The more common bats which are readily available on today's market, have plates that are laid out with 715 and a facsimile signature on the left and "Braves vs. Dodgers, April 8, 1974, Pitcher: Al Downing" stacked on the right, followed by the serial number at bottom.
Also present is a 1974 "Magnavox Hank Aaron 715 Club Membership Kit" with original envelope that shows moderate wear. Contents present as like-new and include a spectacular Magnavox/Sports Illustrated 24x36 poster of #HR 1N1, twice folded by the factory and titled at bottom with "Hank Aaron Hits 715th." The scene shows Aaron completing his swing and the baseball is circled as it reaches the apex of its trajectory. Also includes a 3" diameter tin badge with art image of Aaron; a "Sportscaster Guide" booklet with Aaron cover photo; a membership card; a membership certificate, a cover letter and an order form for various other Aaron/715 commemoratives.