Legendary Atlanta brave and major league Baseball record holder Hank Aaron, who endured racist threats with stoic dignity during his pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record and gracefully left his mark as one of baseball’s greatest all-around players, has died He was aged 86.
The Atlanta Braves, Aaron’s longtime team, said he died peacefully in his sleep on Friday, 22 January, no cause was given.
Aaron’s hitting prowess earned him the nickname ‘Hammerin’ Hank’, and his power was attributed to strong wrists. He was somewhat shy and unassuming and did not have the flair of contemporaries Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.
Aaron was in the news two weeks ago when he publicly received the first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine with his wife, Billye, with the aim of sending a message to Black Americans that the shots are safe.
”Getting vaccinated makes me feel wonderful, I don’t have any qualms about it at all, you know. I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this It’s just a small thing that can help the zillions of people in this country, Aaron said at the time
Aaron broke Ruth’s home-run record in 1974 when he hit his 715th.
The longtime Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves slugger held the record for most career home runs for more than 30 years before Barry Bonds broke it in 2007. Aaron finished his 23-year career with 755 home runs, including an 18-year stretch where he hit at least 24 every season.
Aaron began his career in the Negro Leagues in 1951 with the Indianapolis Clowns, before the Braves picked up his contract. He made his MLB debut in 1954 and spent the next 21 seasons with the Braves before ending his career with the Milwaukee Brewers (1975-1976).
He appeared in a record-breaking 25 All-Star games.
Aaron was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot in 1982. Both the Braves and Brewers retired his Number 44.