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Podcast: Hank Aaron talks baseball cards, home runs and Jeter

Big League Stew

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We've had a few cool Stewcast guests in our day — Dennis Eckersley, Freddy Sanchez, Craig Finn — but surely none of them will disagree that this week's "Why Is This News? guest trumps all of them combined.

Really, about the only way we'll ever equal our session with Hank Aaron on Wednesday is if he tells his friend Willie Mays about the enjoyable time he had appearing on WITN and recommends that he also get on the horn with Jay Busbee and me.

Mr. Aaron is currently doing some promotional work for Topps' 60th anniversary set — you might have just seen him on David Letterman — and he was extremely gracious in his time with us.

Over a memorable 15 minutes, we discuss ...

• Baseball cards and how Mr. Aaron saw them increase in popularity over the span of his career and beyond. (That's his 1954 Topps rookie to the right.)

• Which current player would have had enough mental fortitude to deal with the difficult march that Mr. Aaron made toward Babe Ruth's record of 714 career home runs.

• His plans if A-Rod comes close to breaking Barry Bonds' record of 762.

• Whether or not Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame.

... and much, much more including Jay and I both taking a moment to turn into fawning Chris Farleys while relating a few personal reflections. (Busbee talks about his connection to No. 715, while I tell a story about a very overdue library book that was a staple for me in second grade and helped grow my love for baseball. Busbee's wife calls the tale "charming.")

As I say near the end of the interview, it was an absolute honor and highlight to talk with Mr. Aaron — you really can't address him by anything else, can you? — and hopefully that comes through in our conversation. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as we did.

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To play the podcast, click the link below or save it on your computer. You can also click on the iTunes button below (or right here) to subscribe through iTunes, or the RSS button below (or right here) to run the feed to other players.

Why Is This News 32--Hank Aaron

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