National Baseball Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda, Rod Carew and John Schuerholz were among those who talked about fellow Hall of Famer Hank Aaron - who died Friday at the age of 86 - during visits in recent years to the former Green Diamond Gallery in the Cincinnati suburb of Montgomery.
When asked what kind of teammates Aaron and Willie Mays were, Cepeda said, "Both were great ballplayers. Both could do everything - run, throw, hit. But they were just as good as teammates."
Carew said as a believer in the integrity of the game, he always respected players like Aaron, former New York Yankees great Roger Maris and former Cincinnati Reds star and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. "They all got to the top of their profession, and they did it the honest way. They didn't cheat."
Schuerholz, the Hall of Fame general manager of the Braves from 1990 to 2007 and the team's president from 2007 to 2016, said the following of Aaron during his visit to Cincinnati in July 2019: "He’s got an office down the hall from me. He’s a remarkable person. One of the greatest who will ever play. He managed to fight through very challenging circumstances for him and his family. When he first started playing pro baseball, he hit cross-handed. He’s a class, high-character gentleman."
Aaron hit his 714th home run at Riverfront Stadium off of the Reds' Jack Billingham to tie Babe Ruth on Opening Day in 1974.
Hall of Famer Don Sutton, who died earlier this week at age 75, told baseball fans during a 2014 appearance at the gallery, "I loved your city and I loved Sparky (Anderson). I hated your (Riverfront Stadium) turf."
LOVE SPORTS? [ Subscribe now for unlimited access to Cincinnati.com ]