This morning, Hall of Famer and once home run king and Atlanta Braves legend Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron has passed away at the age of 86. He leaves an indelible legacy on the baseball field and off it.
In 1934, Aaron, the son of Herbert and Estella Aaron, was born in Mobile, Alabama. At first, he played in sandlots, and in 1951 he began his pro career in the Negro Leagues. He worked his way through the minor leagues until he was 20 years of age. Aaron then made his Major League debut and, with the then-Milwaukee Braves, began his 23-year career.
Hank is widely considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time — he famously broke Babe Ruth’s home run record of 714 in 1973.
In 1976, he retired from playing and was inducted into Cooperstown’s Hall of Fame in 1982. He’s still in the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame, and his #44 jersey has been retired by the team.
Currently, in Atlanta, he’s such a legend… On Friday, the mayor of the city said his death was nothing short of devastating.
“While the world knew him as ‘Hammering Hank Aaron’ because of his incredible, record-setting baseball career,” Keisha Lance Bottoms said, “he was a cornerstone of our village, graciously and freely joining Mrs. Aaron in giving their presence and resources toward making our city a better place.”
Among his many career highlights, A World Series win in 1957, he won the National League MVP the same year. He also won 3 Gold Gloves, 2 NL batting titles and led the NL in home runs in 4 separate years.
Hank ended his career with an incredible 755 home runs, a record that stood for decades before Barry Bonds broke it in 2007.