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ESPN confused Hank Aaron and Sam Jethroe last night

NBC Sports logo NBC Sports 4 days ago Craig Calcaterra
Hank Aaron wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera © Getty Images

ESPN had Hank Aaron in the booth last night during the Mets-Braves game. That’s cool. Hank Aaron is a legend, so any time you can talk to him you should do it.

It’s also cool that, on the day before Jackie Robinson Day they talked some about Jackie and his impact with Aaron, who himself played in the Negro Leagues for a spell before joining the Braves.

There was a bit of confusion on ESPN’s part, however, during this portion of the discussion. Note the photo they ran during the segment:

Not great! I didn’t watch the game, but someone on Twitter said that Aaron was asked about the photo and sounded confused when he was asked but refrained from saying “guys, that’s not me” or something that would’ve been hilarious and amazing. You don’t spend as many years as an executive as Aaron has without learning diplomacy I suppose.

I mean, being charitable — and assuming, out of politeness, that this was not one of those “they all look alike” situations — I can maybe begin to understand how this could happen. “Quick, get a photo of Aaron and Jackie!” the producer yelled at the third assistant editor, who was already overworked. Indeed, if you do a Google image search for “Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron” the first thing that comes up is a version of this photo on someone’s Pinterest page that is misidentified as Robinson and Aaron. You’re rushed and you just click a few clicks and — bammo — everyone not watching “Game of Thrones” is subjected to this photo and caption.

One would hope, though, that a massive sports media company employs people on its marquee baseball broadcast who (a) don’t simply do quick Google image searches in order to get graphics for the broadcast; (b) actually know what Hank Aaron looks like; and (c) at least know off the top of their heads that Aaron debuted in the bigs two years after the Braves left Boston for Milwaukee which causes them a moment’s pause before running this pic.

We don’t get everything we hope for, of course.

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