ATLANTA (AP) - Hank Aaron was more relieved than jubilant after he broke Babe Ruth's home-run record on April 8, 1974.
The 40-year anniversary of his 715th homer provides a different perspective.
The 80-year-old Aaron will be celebrated on Tuesday night before the Atlanta Braves' home opener against the New York Mets.
Hate mail and threats made it impossible for him to savor the chase of Ruth's revered record, but on Monday Aaron said he'll enjoy the anniversary because such old friends as former teammate Dusty Baker will return for the pregame ceremony.
Aaron also says "it means an awful lot" to him that fans still appreciate his career.
The Braves will wear a 40th anniversary patch on their uniforms this season. An outfield sign at Turner Field also will mark the anniversary.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)