Home run king Hank Aaron was honored yesterday on Capitol Hill on the 25th anniversary of breaking the career home run record established by Babe Ruth. Aaron, who hit his historic 715th home run to pass Ruth on April 4, 1974, and went on to finish his career in 1976 with 755 home runs, received just as much credit from lawmakers for his humanitarian work since retiring as a player. Aaron provides support for young people engaged in various endeavors through his Chasing the Dream Foundation.
"He captivated baseball fans in Georgia and across America and taught us to follow our dreams," said Rep. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), who introduced a resolution with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) honoring Aaron. That resolution was passed yesterday by the House; a resolution honoring Aaron was passed earlier by the Senate.
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), a Hall of Fame pitcher, told admirers of Aaron how happy he used to be to not have to face the slugger when their teams met. Bunning praised Aaron now for "doing God's work."
Speaking about his foundation and his efforts to provide opportunities for children, Aaron, now senior vice president of the Atlanta Braves, said: "That's what life is all about. Trying to help others."
Second place and a crowd on her side meant victory to Tonya Harding in her return to competition. Making up for a rocky start, Harding skated a near-perfect routine to finish as the runner-up to Surya Bonaly at the Pro Skating championships in Huntington, W. Va.
"I'd forgotten how it felt to step on the ice," the 28-year-old skater said. "I will never forget this day. I will never forget this competition."
Barcelona, Lazio Win
Barcelona and Lazio became the first two clubs to make the final 16 of the European Champions League. Barcelona defeated England's Arsenal, 4-1, and Lazio beat Slovenia's Maribor, 4-0. The Spanish club took control of Group B with 10 points, the same as Italy's Lazio has atop Group A. In Group D, Olympique Marseille stunned defending champion Manchester United, 1-0, as defender William Gallas scored in the 69th minute. It was United's first loss after going unbeaten in 17 straight European Champions Cup matches. . . .
Diego Maradona is due in Libya today to give a boost to the country's soccer program after seven years of UN sanctions. Libyan leader Moammar Kadhafi's son Saadi, who heads the national football federation, invited the player to "develop Libyan football," Libyan newspapers said. . . .
Julie Foudy, co-captain of the world champion U.S. women's soccer team, was elected president of the Women's Sports Foundation board of trustees. Foudy's term begins Jan. 1 and will last two years.
Surgery for Schmidt
Sam Schmidt, who sustained severe injuries to both feet in the IRL's Mall.com 500 on Sunday, was flown from Dallas to Indianapolis for additional surgery at Methodist Hospital. Schmidt, 34, fractured both feet in the collision with Scott Sharp at Texas Motor Speedway. Part of his right big toe was amputated during an operation Sunday and he has another surgery scheduled for Thursday. . . .
The Hawaiian Super Prix, intended to be the richest auto race in history with a $10 million purse, was canceled after organizers failed to come up with enough money. The CART event was scheduled for Nov. 13 at Kalaeloa Airport, with the winner receiving $5 million. The race would have featured 16 drivers, including the top 12 CART circuit drivers.
Breakfast of a Champion
Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is the first cyclist to have his image captured on a Wheaties cereal box. He unveiled the new box, which will be available in grocery stores this week, at a ceremony in his home town of Austin.