The MEARS Museum is proud to announce the recent acquisition of a previously unknown piece of Milwaukee Brewers / Hank Aaron history.
Housed in a collection which spanned 5 decades and focused mainly on football memorabilia, the original owner, a Midwest collector, must have obtained this sign in the mid-1970s because its existence was unknown within the organized sports memorabilia hobby. Advanced collectors were unaware that this sign had survived.
Measuring a whopping 24” x 85”, the white plywood sign is hand painted. “Hank Aaron, Souvenir Photo Buttons (blue)”, and “$1.00 Proceeds to Hank Aaron Youth Fund (red with yellow box)” is also hand painted and completes the design of the sign. A silk screen image of the actual button which sold is found on the left side of the sign. The button reads, “Thanks Milwaukee, 1954-1976” and has a portrait of the button image of Hank Aaron in his Milwaukee Brewers home jersey with “M” cap posed in front of the empty seats of the 1st base line of old Milwaukee County Stadium.”
aaron-buttonsThese pinback buttons were believed to have been sold for the September 18th, 1976 game at Milwaukee County Stadium where 40,000 fans cheered Hank Aaron. After 23 seasons, Hank Aaron announced that this would be his final season.
The pinbacks measures 2.25” and depicts a full color image of Hank Aaron in his Milwaukee Brewers home jersey and “M” cap. A facsimile “Hank Aaron” signature stretches across the chest of Hank. “THANKS MILWAUKEE, 1954-1976” completes the design. These popular pinback buttons are routinely found in the Milwaukee area.
The large sign was designed to be attached to the wall of Milwaukee County Stadium, making it a very rare piece of stadia. We are unsure if the sign was meant to be hung on the interior or exterior of Milwaukee County Stadium.
The accompany image show Hank Aaron with his wife Billie being honored on that September 18th, 1976 game. Hank is seen waiving to the fans as hank-aaron_suenlxikd3gy1gavtjpqi6daqhis wife holds one of the trophies he was given to commemorate the event.
Aaron played in 85 games during his Milwaukee Swan song. On October 3rd, 1976, Aaron played in his final game, and left as one of the greatest players to have ever donned a uniform. The rare Hank Aaron sign will soon be installed as part of the permanent MEARS Museum Collection.
Comments may be direct to Troy R. Kinunen at troy@mearsonline.com