MLB Hall Of Famer Hank Aaron Dies At 86
Atlanta Brave and MLB Hall of Famer Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s all-time Home Run record, died at age 86.
The Braves released a Twitter statement notifying fans about the beloved Hall of Famer’s passing. Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement, “We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank. He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts. His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his humble nature.”
McGuirk added, “Henry Louis Aaron wasn’t just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world. His success on the diamond was matched only by his business accomplishments off the field and capped by his extraordinary philanthropic efforts.”
It is with great sadness we share the passing of our home run king, Hank Aaron. pic.twitter.com/ZdRuhqIaet
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) January 22, 2021
Aaron spent the majority of his MLB career playing with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves from 1954 to 1974. He earned the nicknamed “Hammerin’ Hank” for his home run prowess as a slugger. In 1957, Aaron won his lone NL MVP and a World Series title for the Braves. Less than a week into the 1974 season, Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record after hitting his 715th home run. Ruths’ home run record had long stood unbroken for nearly 40 years.
During the home run record chase, the slugger was subjected to harassment. Often receiving racist hate mail, death threats and taunts because he was black. In his autobiography I Had a Hammer, he talked about what he felt saying, “There were times during the chase when I was so angry and tired and sick of it all that I wished I could get on a plane and not get off until I was someplace where they never heard of Babe Ruth.” However, he resolved and kept pushing because of what breaking the record would mean, “But damn it all, I had to break that record. I had to do it for Jackie (Robinson) and my people and myself and for everybody who ever called me a [N-word].”
In 1974, after over 20 years with the Braves, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. The power hitter played his final season with the Brewers for the 1975-1976 season. He retired in 1976.
In 1982, the slugger was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 97.83% of the ballot votes. In 2002, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Hall of Famer holds the record for most All-Star selections with 25. Additionally, the Braves legend has a career batting average of .305, 3,771 hits, 755 home runs, and 2,297 RBIs’. He holds the record for most career RBI’s, extra-base hits with 1,477, total bases with 6,856.