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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
Hank Aaron



Hank Aaron
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.06

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    outfielder, rookie, consistency, soft-spoken, distinguish, ending, lifetime, better, semi-professional, rags, entire, truth, commitment, general, goal, assistant
     content words:    Hank Aaron, Henry Louis Aaron, Great Depression, Jackie Robinson, Mobile Black Bears, Indianapolis Clowns, Negro League, All Star Team, Barbara Lucas, Bobby Thompson


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Hank Aaron
By Mary L. Bushong
  

1     Baseball is a game that is called America's pastime. It is a sport that has fueled the dreams of thousands of kids who want one day to be a star. For some it was a hope for a way to rise above humble beginnings and play a sport that was loved. That dream came true for a young man by the name of Hank Aaron.
 
2     Henry Louis Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama, on February 5, 1934 in the middle of the Great Depression. Jobs didn't pay very well for the average person, but Hank's father was able to raise his family of five on $75-80 a week as a boilermaker's assistant.
 
3     As a child, Hank loved baseball. He kept himself busy and out of trouble by playing the game. He did not have money to buy equipment, so he made his own. His ball was a wad of rags wound tight, and his bat was a broom handle. When he finally got a rubber ball, he used to hit it against the side of the house.
 
4     In those days, the schools were still segregated. Hank attended schools for just black children. When he reached high school, he played football, because there wasn't a baseball team. He kept in practice by playing on the local sand lot baseball team. By this time, Hank knew he wanted to play baseball for a career. His hero was a player named Jackie Robinson.
 
5     One day, while he was playing in a game, a scout for a semi-professional team saw him and offered him a job. Hank went to work for the Mobile Black Bears and played for $10 a game until he was 18. As soon as he was of age, he signed on with the Indianapolis Clowns with the Negro League, to play for $200 a month. It was hard work because they played as many as ten games a week, but it paid off when a scout for a major league team saw him play.

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