Hank Aaron, one of the best players ever to star in the MLB, died Friday morning (Jan. 22). Amassing a number of records in his long career, Aaron still holds several significant records and still remains as one of the best sluggers the game has ever seen.
The news of Aaron’s broke after his daughter confirmed the shocking news to WSB-TV in Atlanta. The details of his passing have not been shared but it has been reported that he passed away at his home according to Atlanta outlet WGCL.
Aaron, who named an MLB All-Star 25 times, played in Major League Baseball from 1954 to 1976, after starting his career in the Negro Leagues in 1952. Aaron played much of his career with the Braves organization, which was first based in Milwaukee before moving to Atlanta. Aaron ended his career where it began in Milwaukee with the Brewers organization.
On April 8, 1974, Aaron moved past one of the most iconic records in the MLB after becoming the Home Run King, passing Babe Ruth’s coveted 714 home runs record. The saga of Aaron chasing the lofty record wasn’t without its drama as fans couldn’t conceive of a once-poor Black man from Mobile, Ala. breaking the Sultan of Swat’s record. The hate and vitriol faced by Aaron were so bad that the night he broke the home run record against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his armed bodyguard was disguised but at the ready to intervene should anyone try to harm the slugger.
Aaron’s home run record stood at 755 for decades until Barry Bonds surpassed it in 2007. However, Aaron’s impact on the game as a slugger and solid outfielder could never be replaced. Aaron was rightfully inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, cementing a career that still inspires young players in the sandlot today.
After concluding his playing career, Aaron signed on as an executive with the Atlanta Braves. He was then named the vice president and director of player development for the Braves, becoming one of the first Black upper-level executives in the MLB. Aaron was also heavily involved in several business interests outside of baseball while still remaining a valuable ambassador of the game via his Hank Aaron Rookie League program.
While Aaron no longer stands as the home run leader, he is still the all-time leader in RBI with 2,297, and total bases at 6,856. Aaron is listed third in career hits at 3,771. The three-time Gold Gloves winner also won batting titles twice in the late 1950s and was the recipient of the 1970 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.
Aaron is survived by his wife, Billye, and six children among several other relatives.
Hank Aaron was 86.
Rest Powerfully in Peace, Hammerin’ Hank.
#HankAaron: MLB Superstar Hank Aaron Dead At 86, Twitter Salutes The Legend was originally published on hiphopwired.com
We are devastated by the passing of Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, one of the greatest players and people in the history of our game. He was 86. pic.twitter.com/bCvLOydGBZ— MLB (@MLB) January 22, 2021
If you took away every one of Henry Aaron's 755 home runs, he still would've finished with more than 3,000 hits.— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) January 22, 2021
RIP, Hammer. pic.twitter.com/Od0l71FCqk
- 755 Home Runs— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) January 22, 2021
- 1957 NL MVP
- World Series Champion
- 25x All Star
- 3x Gold Glove Winner
- 2x Batting Champion
- MLB All Century Team
- 1982 Hall of Fame selection
RIP to a baseball legend and one of the greatest icons in sports, Henry "Hank" Aaron pic.twitter.com/RvLXkrPsYB
Hank Aaron, departing to play for the Indianapolis Clowns, 70 years ago. I remember pausing with @nlbmprez in front of this photo at the @NLBMuseumKC. I’ve never forgotten this image. (Additional photo credit: @Baseballography.) @MLB @MLBNetwork pic.twitter.com/INIIVJEjeK— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 22, 2021
RIP to the legend, Hammerin’ Hank Aaron. 755 HRs.... 2nd of all time. pic.twitter.com/9c3v1xD7a2— Southern Chaps Sports (@SouthernChaps) January 22, 2021
Braves confirm the worst news possible.— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) January 22, 2021
My heart breaks. I will forever cherish this photo and other memories that I'll get into in a column.
RIP Hank Aaron.
The True Home Run Champion. pic.twitter.com/CPdJzyHwGB
There are Hall Of Fame baseball players and then there are Hall of Famers that have achieved upper echelon status. Hard to find a player better than Hank Aaron and the stats prove it. A true gentleman and HOF person too. #RIPHammerinHank— Ken Singleton (@29alltime) January 22, 2021
Hank Aaron played the game with integrity, class, and dignity. What he accomplished off the field was just as impressive as what he accomplished on the field. Rest In Peace to the home run king. pic.twitter.com/mP7B9xm5lw— Kevin John (@heykevinjohn) January 22, 2021
The hate Mr Hank Aaron faced because he was better than your white hero’s !!!!!! Merica— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) January 22, 2021
A great privilege was listening to Cito Gaston tell stories about Hank Aaron. A sad commonality is the racism both endured. "(Black players) had to look out for each other in those days, and a lot of those things I learned from Hank, and my mom, too," Cito once said. RIP Hammer.— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) January 22, 2021
Woke up to learn that Hank Aaron and Kason Allah (52 Handblocks teacher) returned to the essence— C'BS ALife Allah (@ALifeAllah) January 22, 2021
R.I.P. Hammerin’ Hank— Geoff Blum (@blummer27) January 22, 2021
“I looked for the same pitch my whole career, a breaking ball. All of the time. I never worried about the fastball. They couldn't throw it past me, none of them.”
"I never smile when I have a bat in my hands. That's when you've got to be serious. When I get out on the field, nothing's a joke to me. I don't feel like I should walk around with a smile on my face." - Hank Aaron pic.twitter.com/qhwaMsCznf— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) January 22, 2021