MLB Legend Hank Aaron has died at the age of 86. The baseball icon famous for passing Babe Ruth’s home run record, and for his civil rights advocacy will long be remembered for his contributions on and off the field.
“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,” Braves chairman Terry McGuirk.
Aaron who demonstrated extraordinary skill and power at the plate over a 3 decade career was so prolific that the MLB named it’s offensive MVP award after him.
“Hank Aaron was one of the best baseball players we’ve ever seen and one of the strongest people I’ve ever met,” former President Obama said in a statement. “Whenever Michelle and I spent time with Hank and his wife Billye, we were struck by their kindness, generosity and grace — and were reminded that we stood on the shoulders of a previous generation of trailblazers.”
(image credit – nydailynews.com)
Hank Aaron’s Baseball Legacy
Hank Aaron who started his baseball career in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves will forever be known for breaking Babe Ruth’s homerun record in 1974.
In his call of Aaron’s history-making hit, sportscaster Vin Scully said, “What a marvelous moment for baseball, what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia, what a marvelous moment for the country and the world.”
In addition to his historic passing of the great Ruth, Aaron also holds the career records for RBIs with 2,297, most total bases with 6,856 and most extra-base hits with 1,477.
Hank Aaron a leader in America’s Civil Rights Movement
In conjunction with his legendary baseball career, Aaron was a strong leader and figurehead in the American civil rights movement. Through his excellence on and off the field, Aaron continued to push the conversation forward in the right direction.
During his iconic homerun record moment, Aaron famously rounded second base with two white fans who jumped on the field to join him. This moment will forever be iconic due to the abuse Aaron was sustaining that record breaking year from fans who didn’t want to see Ruth’s record broken by a black man.
“It was supposed to be the greatest triumph of my life, but I was never allowed to enjoy it. I couldn’t wait for it to be over,” he once said. “The only reason that some people didn’t want me to succeed was because I was a Black man.”
President Jimmy Carter hailed the baseball star as a “personal hero.”