Henry Louis Aaron, legendary Braves right fielder, nicknamed “Hammer” passed away Friday January 22nd in his sleep. He was just shy of his 87th birthday. Aaron who is best known for breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time career home record by hitting 755 total home runs. 33 years later Barry Bonds broke Aaron’s record, but Aaron remains 2nd on the list and Ruth remains 3rd on the list. An ageing Albert Pujols is the only active player close to catching any of these 3 with 662. Among many other offensive records Aaron is also a 3 time Gold Glover, an MPV winner, and a 24 time all-star.
Aaron still holds records for RBIs, extra base hits (1477), and total bases (6856). The Alabama native grew up in an extremely conflicting time for African Americans. As a kid Aaron would hit bottle caps or whatever he could find with a stick as his family could not afford any baseball equipment. He dreamed of becoming a player like Jackie Robinson. Aaron was able to persevere and become one of the greatest baseball players of any era past or present. Growing up my father liked baseball and boxing, so I got a steady diet of both.
I wasn’t really sure who Hank Aaron was till I was a young teen and Barry Bonds was knocking on the doorstep of the home run record. Aaron was more than a ball player. He was larger than life. I never got to see him play but I’m thinking I might try to get up some old footage. Aaron was a pure player and I think it would be interesting to see the legend among legends play. Aaron has been a staple in baseball and a household dame for over 50 years and he will be missed by many but his name will live on especially as young players come into the league and dream of catching one of the all-time great’s records. RIP Mr. Hank Aaron.