On July 20, 1957, future Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Hammerin’ Hank Aaron stopped by the Treasure House of Captain Kangaroo. Aired live daily by CBS and now in its second year, Captain Kangaroo was conceived by and starred Bob Keeshan. Bob based his role as the Captain on “the warm relationship between grandparents and children.” Bob was joined by Hugh Brannum and Cosmo Allegretti, who between them played fifteen different supporting roles.
In 1957, Aaron and his team, the Milwaukee Braves, were in the middle of a great season and on their way to winning the World Series against the Yankees. Hank himself would win the National League MVP award, batting .322 (third in the league) and leading the NL in home runs and RBIs. You can be sure that Little Leaguers across America were listening carefully when Mr. Green Jeans (Brannum) asked Hank for some baseball tips.
Bob Keeshan would continue as Captain Kangaroo until the multiple-Emmy-winning series ended in 1984, a 29-year run. Several writers and producers of Captain Kangaroo went on to work on the longest-running, highly-awarded children’s series, Sesame Street.
Hank Aaron continued to play for the Braves until 1974 (a 20-year run), moving to Atlanta with the team for the 1966 season. On April 8, 1974, Aaron hit career home run 715 to break Babe Ruth’s iconic record. After two seasons as a Milwaukee Brewer, Aaron retired and joined the front office of the Atlanta Braves organization. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain; John G. Zimmerman/Sports Illustrated